Tiffany Beats Expectations For Fourth Quarter

Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) reported fourth-quarter results that landed above market estimates. For the fourth quarter, Tiffany’s net earnings were $157.8 million or $1.26 per share. The company reported net earnings of $163.2 million, or $1.28 per share in the same quarter of the prior year.

In the fourth quarter, adjusted net earnings were $182 million, or $1.45 per share, lower than the $187 million, or $1.46 per share, reported the prior year. Worldwide net sales increased 1 percent to $1.23 billion, up from $1.21 billion last year. On a constant-exchange-rate basis, worldwide net sales increased 2 percent. Analysts expected earnings of $1.38 per share on sales of $1.22 billion for the quarter.

Tiffany has been struggling to lift sales, particularly in its biggest market, the Americas. Total sales fell 3 percent in the Americas in the fourth quarter, falling to $587 million. Comparable store sales declined 2 percent in the region. Tiffany said earlier this year that sales during the crucial holiday period were disrupted by its flagship store’s proximity to Trump Tower in New York. Sales at the flagship store declined 7 percent and represented less than 10 percent of worldwide net sales.

Other regions had brighter results. Total sales were 9 percent above the prior year in the Asia-Pacific region, rising to $284 million, but comparable store sales declined 2 percent. Total sales rose 15 percent to $185 million in Japan, while comparable store sales increased 19 percent. However, in Europe, total sales were 7 percent lower than the prior year and comparable store sales fell 9 percent.

Increased demand for gold jewelry and items from its “Tiffany T” fashion jewelry collection helped the fourth quarter results. Sales of jewelry priced under $500 were also higher in the quarter. Tiffany’s Chairman and interim Chief Executive Michael Kowalski said, “The fashion category is where we have enjoyed the most relative success, so I think that speaks at least directionally of some success in appealing to millennials.”

The company reported net earnings of $446 million, or $3.55 per share, for fiscal year 2016. Adjusted net earnings were $470 million or $3.75 per share. The company reported worldwide net sales of $4.0 billion for 2016. Comparable store sales were unchanged from the prior year.

Shares of the luxury retailer climbed to a 19-month high in afternoon trading on Friday. In pre-market trading on the NYSE, Tiffany shares rose 3.36 percent to $93.

Tiffany is predicting higher earnings and sales for fiscal 2017. On a constant-exchange-rate basis, worldwide net sales are expected to increase by a low-single-digit percentage and by a mid-single-digit percentage over the prior year. Analysts are estimating earnings of $3.87 per share on sales of $4.09 billion for the year on average, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.

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