May 16, 2017 / 1:12 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 2-TJX's slow comparable-sales growth adds to retail gloom

* Q1 comparable sales slowest in over 10 qtrs

* Q1 rev $7.78 bln vs est of $7.88 bln

* Shares fall as much as 5 pct in early trading (Adds details, analyst comment; Updates shares)

May 16 (Reuters) - TJX Cos Inc, the owner of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls stores, posted its slowest comparable-store sales growth in more than 10 quarters and forecast a disappointing current-quarter profit, adding to the gloom in the retail industry.

Shares of the company, which was a bright spot so far among brick-and-mortar retailers, fell nearly 5 percent to $73.17 in early trading on Tuesday.

TJX’s 1 percent rise in first-quarter sales at stores open for at least a year missed the 1.5 percent growth estimated by analysts polled by research firm Consensus Metrix.

The company’s same-store sales rise, however, was within its previously anticipated range of flat to up 1 percent growth.

TJX attributed unfavorable weather in parts of the United States and Canada for a slowdown in sales at the beginning of the quarter, but said that demand picked up as the quarter progressed.

TJX’s report follows dismal results from retailers including Macy’s Inc and J.C. Penney Co Inc that reported falling sales last week, as they struggled to attract customers amid a shift to online shopping.

TJX also forecast a second-quarter profit of 81-83 cents per share.

Analysts on average were expecting the company to earn 92 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

“Q2 guidance was below consensus and that marks a few quarters now where guidance has been less than stellar,” Jefferies analyst Randal Konik wrote in a note.

“Our impression here is that multi-year compares are becoming very difficult, market share transfer has probably peaked, and the tough retail environment is also probably having some impact here.”

TJX reported a 3.2 percent rise in sales to $7.78 billion in the quarter ended April 29. Analysts on average had expected $7.88 billion.

The Framingham, Massachusetts-based company’s net income rose about 5.5 percent to $536.3 million, or 82 cents per share. (Reporting by Gayathree Ganesan in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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