T.J. Maxx owner quashes holiday inventory concerns, beats sales estimates

(Reuters) -TJX Cos Inc said it was well-positioned for the holiday season, easing concerns of product availability due to supply-chain bottlenecks, after the discount store operator reported quarterly sales that beat estimates on Wednesday.

Shares rose 6.5% in premarket trading as the T.J. Maxx owner raised its share buyback plan.

Sales at discount store operators, which sell products at roughly half the suggested price, have picked up this year after coronavirus restrictions were eased, as people returning to work and colleges splurge on refreshing their wardrobes.

“We are in an excellent inventory position, with most of the product needed for the holiday season either on hand or scheduled to arrive at our stores and online in time for the holidays,” Chief Executive Officer Ernie Herrman said.

Industry-wide supply-chain bottlenecks had raised worries that shelves of off-price outlets might be left without major holiday goods. However, analysts have said TJX is in a better position to deal with the supply crunch than its rivals Ross Stores and Burlington Stores.

Total inventories as of Oct. 30 were $6.6 billion, compared with $6.3 billion at the end of the third quarter two years ago.

TJX said overall open-only comparable store sales growth for the start of the fourth quarter were up in the mid-teens percentage range over the fourth quarter two years ago.

Net sales rose 24% to $12.53 billion in the third quarter ended Oct. 30, beating estimates of $12.27 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Net income gained 18% at $1.02 billion, or 84 cents per share. Analysts had expected 81 cents.

The company now expects to repurchase shares worth between $1.75 billion and $2 billion in fiscal 2022, from prior forecast of $1.25 billion to $1.50 billion.

(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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