The TJX Companies Inc., the off-price retail giant based in Framingham, reported Tuesday that strong sales at its discount stores helped send its first-quarter net income up more than 58 percent. But the company's lower-than-expected outlook for the year sent shares down in early trading.
The operator of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and other chains said it earned $331.4 million, or 80 cents per share, for the quarter that ended May 1. That's up from $209.2 million, or 49 cents per share, a year earlier.
Revenue grew 15 percent to $5 billion.
TJX has seen its popularity and profitability climb during the recession as shoppers turned to its stores for deals, and it was ranked number one in The Boston Globe's Globe 100 annual ranking of Massachusetts public companies, which was released today. The company recently announced plans to double in size.
The quarter's results exceeded Wall Street expectations. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn 78 cents per share on revenue of $4.95 billion.
"Consumers will remain focused on value in both weak and strong economic environments," Carol Meyrowitz, the company's president and CEO, said in a statement.
Sales at stores open at least a year rose 9 percent with growth across all its lines. This is considered a key indicator of performance as it strips away the impact of stores opening or closing.
TJX said it expects to earn 67 cents to 72 cents per share for the second quarter, in line with analyst forecasts for 72 cents per share. It said that range would mean earnings per share 10 percent to 18 percent higher than a year earlier.
But the company's full-year forecast for profit of $3.21 to $3.32 per share falls short of analyst expectations for $3.35 per share.