TJX Cos., the owner of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, posted better-than-expected sales growth and boosted its annual forecast, a sign that its discount chains are still thriving in a jittery retail economy.

The company now expects earnings of $3.35 to $3.42 a share, up from an earlier forecast of $3.29 to $3.38, according to a statement Tuesday. It predicted sales growth of as much as 3 percent, compared with a previous projection of no more than 2 percent.

TJX is attracting shoppers with low prices and a merchandise strategy that adapts quickly to current trends, according to Howard Tubin, an analyst at Guggenheim Securities. That’s helped it overcome the woes facing department-store chains. Macy’s Inc. and Nordstrom Inc. both delivered bleak forecasts last week, sending retail stocks into a tailspin.

Shares of TJX, which also owns the HomeGoods chain, rose as much as 4.2 percent in New York on Tuesday. The stock was already up 6 percent this year before the gain.

Comparable-store sales -- a closely watched measure known as comps -- jumped 7 percent last quarter, the company said. Analysts had predicted a 3.4 percent gain, according to Consensus Metrix.

“We are particularly pleased with our very strong customer traffic, which drove the comp increases at every division,” Chief Executive Officer Ernie Herrman said in the statement.

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