A year and a half ago, I thought TJX Companies
Fast-forward to today and the company's recent third-quarter earnings release: A lot of improvement has been made. In our Fool by Numbers you'll find the year-over-year income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement, but it's the comparable store sales that really shine. Almost any retailer -- save young, growing specialty retailers -- would be happy with 6% comps. But for a mature retailer like TJX to deliver that level of performance is impressive. It's certainly not a performance investors should expect to become the norm at TJX, but 2%-4% same-store sale increases will serve the company and its investors well.
The company's performance was strong across the board, and all concepts had positive same-store sales. Even the struggling Bob's Stores chain, which doesn't match the rest of the company's off-price selling strategy, turned in a positive 2% performance. The performance of TJX's international operations in Canada and the U.K. was particularly impressive, with same-store sales increases of 11% and 17%, respectively, in U.S. dollars (5% and 11% in local currencies). Gross, operating, and net margins all increased as well. It's tough to find a real fault with the company's performance.
If there is a fault here, it's in the valuation. At about $29.50, TJX has a lot of the positives I expected from the company priced into the shares. I find the valuation of TJX comparable with competitors such as Ross Stores
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