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Earnings roundup

TJX Cos., which owns T.J. Maxx, said sales were up 10 percent. TJX Cos., which owns T.J. Maxx, said sales were up 10 percent. (Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press)
Associated Press / February 25, 2010

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CHICAGO - Discount retailer TJX Cos. unveiled ambitious plans to expand yesterday, saying the company could ultimately double in size.

The announcement came after the owner of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls said its sales rose more than 10 percent as new shoppers flocked to stores. Combined with efforts to cut costs, the company’s profit rose by 58 percent.

The company has about 2,700 stores now and hopes to increase that to 4,200, chief executive Carol Meyrowitz said, though the company didn’t give a time frame.

Meanwhile, the retailer, based in Framingham, Mass., said it would buy back an additional $1 billion in stock and said it plans to raise its dividend.

For the quarter, TJX posted earnings of $395 million, or 94 cents per share, while sales grew to $5.94 billion.

Wall Street analysts expected the company to earn 91 cents per share on revenue of $5.98 billion.

American Tower Corp. said that fourth-quarter profit fell by 25 percent as higher costs erased a revenue increase. The company also said it has purchased an Indian communications site owner for $430 million.

American Tower’s Indian subsidiary, Transcend, is buying Essar Telecom Infrastructure Private Ltd. for cash and assumed debt. Essar owns and operates 4,450 wireless towers in India and its acquisition would expand American Tower’s sites in that country to 7,000.

The deal is expected to close at the end of the second quarter. American Tower operates cellphone and broadcast towers that route mobile calls and TV and radio broadcast signals.

For the fourth quarter, the Boston-based company earned $64.4 million, or 16 cents per share, compared with $85.8 million, or 21 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

Revenue rose by 9.7 percent to $448 million from $408.3 million. Earnings fell short of the 18-cents per share in profit expected by analysts, but revenue exceeded their $445.2 million forecast, according to Thomson Reuters.

For the year, American Tower earned $246.6 million, or 61 cents per share, compared with $347.2 million, or 84 cents per share, in 2008. Revenue rose 8 percent to $1.72 billion.

Investment manager Eaton Vance Corp. said its first-quarter profit jumped 87 percent, fueled by higher fees for its funds.

The company posted profit of $46.2 million, or 37 cents per share, compared with profit of $24.7 million, or 21 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Results for the 2010 period were reduced by 2 cents per share by adjustments required to comply with new accounting standards.

Revenue rose 30 percent to $272 million, from $209.5 million a year earlier.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, expected profit of 36 cents per share, on revenue of $212.2 million.