investing

Amazon-Proof Retail Stock: TJX Companies

Bargain hunters willing to roam the racks put the off-price retailer in a good position to stand up to the world's largest online retailer.

Amazon.com (symbol AMZN) is projected to account for one-half of all internet-based U.S. retail sales by 2021, according to brokerage firm Needham & Co., up from about one-third of sales in 2016. The threat to competitors in the retail space has become so dire that a "Death by Amazon” index that tracks the stock prices of 54 retailers sits near a four-year low, according to research firm Bespoke Investment Group, which compiles the index.

Yet, there are a few big retailers that are finding ways to thrive despite the Amazon onslaught. The world's largest off-price retailer, TJX Companies (TJX) is one of them. Here's why its stores and its stock should stand up to competition from Amazon. (Share prices, returns and other data are as of April 25.)

TJX specializes in discounted apparel and home goods at more than 3,800 stores in North America, Europe and Australia. Similar deals abound online. But shoppers keep returning to TJX’s stores for the treasure hunt, aiming to find a gem of a deal off the rack.

TJX’s stores, which include TJ Maxx and Marshall’s, feature an ever-changing lineup of brand-name clothing and designer fashions. Merchandise deliveries arrive in stores several times a week, keeping shoppers guessing about what they’ll find. The stores lack walls between departments, encouraging shoppers to browse for bargains throughout the store.

Online competition doesn’t appear to pose a major threat. TJX’s revenues should reach $35 billion in the 12-month period that ends in January 2018, up 5.4% over the prior fiscal year, estimates Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which rates the stock a “buy.” Profits are also rising, along with TJX’s dividend, which the firm recently hiked by 20% — increasing its payout for the 21st consecutive year.

TJX by the Numbers

  • Share price: $78.78
  • Market value: $50.9 billion
  • Price-earnings ratio: 20
  • Estimated 12-month profit growth: 10.5%
  • Dividend yield: 1.3%

Check out five other retailers that can stand up to Amazon.

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