TJX Cos., the Framingham company that operates such retail chains as T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods, said Tuesday that first quarter net income rose 8 percent to $453 millon.

Photo taken from T.J. Maxx website.

First quarter diluted earnings per share were $.62, a 13 percent increase over last year’s $.55, TJX said in a press release.

Sales, meanwhile, grew 7 percent to $6.2 billion. At stores open at least a year, sales rose 2 percent. That second measure, known as same-store sales or consolidated comparable store sales, is closely watched by Wall Street analysts who regard it as a key barometer of a retailer’s performance.

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In a statement, TJX chief executive Carol Meyrowitz said: “We are very pleased with our first quarter results, especially as they were achieved over the highest year-over-year comparisons for quarterly comp sales and EPS growth of this year. Consolidated comparable store sales increased 2 percent over an 8 percent reported increase last year and earnings per share grew 13 percent over last year’s adjusted 41 percent increase. We believe the flexibility of our business model allowed us to achieve this growth despite the unfavorable weather patterns across most of our regions for much of the quarter. Flowing the right merchandise at the right time continued to be key to strong merchandise margins. The second quarter is off to a strong start and we are in an excellent position to buy into the enormous opportunities for quality merchandise that we are seeing in the marketplace. Longer term, we remain very confident in our continued ability to grow sales and profitability as we are well on the road to being a $40 billion-plus company!”