Wall Street gave Tiffany & Co. the thumbs-up after the jewelry retailer posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter results.Company executives during the morning conference call to Wall Street said strong sales in Asia helped with results. Also trending in the right direction were higher margins in fashion jewelry, particularly the more affordable pieces priced at under $500.Michael Kowalski, chairman and interim chief executive officer, said, “The fashion category is where we’ve enjoyed the most relative success, so I think that speaks directionally of some success in appealing to Millennials.”Earlier in the call, the chairman addressed the ceo search and said the company is presuming that “it may take time to find the right person with broad experience and brand management with a global perspective and who possess the strong leadership skills to motivate and inspire our Tiffany colleagues around the world.” Frederic Cumenal resigned his ceo post last month.He acknowledged that the luxury space has faced numerous challenges in 2016, and that management has not been pleased with the firm’s financial performance. He also noted that there are “substantial opportunities to grow our business.” Those opportunities depend on increasing the rate of new product introductions and innovations, maximizing marketing effectiveness and building stronger relationships with customers.For the quarter ended Jan. 31, net income fell 3.3 percent to $157.8 million, or $1.26 a diluted share, on a net sales gain of 1.3 percent to $1.23 billion. On an adjusted basis, diluted earnings per share were $1.45. Wall Street’s consensus estimate was $1.38 on sales of $1.22 billion.Shares of Tiffany closed up 2.7 percent to $92.42 in Big Board trading.Mark L. Aaron, vice president of investor relations, said during the call that U.S. sales in 2016 to foreign tourists remained at about 20 percent. And while Tiffany normally doesn’t break out individual store results, the company chose to disclose results for its New York flagship because of its location by Trump Tower and the impact of postelection activities. Aaron said the quarter’s sales fell “7 percent for the entire fourth quarter versus a 14 percent decline in the November-December holiday period due to some large transactions in January.”During the quarter, the Americas region represented 46 percent of worldwide sales, while Asia-Pacific was 25 percent. Japan represented 15 percent of sales and Europe was 11 percent.In the Asia-Pacific region, Aaron said Tiffany saw a “healthy rate of growth in the second half and fourth quarter that was generated by increases in jewelry units sold.” He also noted that lower spending attributed to Chinese tourism in other regions in 2016 may have led to higher spending by local consumers within China. He noted that Tiffany opened its 15th store in Korea and its first store in New Zealand in the quarter, as well as two stores in Australia. In Japan, he said the company achieved healthy retail sales growth and ended the year on a strong note. Aaron also said it was a “challenging year” for its European operations.As for trends, Aaron told analysts that the company saw higher gold jewelry sales attributed to the T collection from new designs. There was also improvement in fashion silver jewelry led by the new Return to Tiffany Love collection, as well as newness in silver jewelry and the growth in the number of items under $500. Also strong were Elsa Peretti’s jewelry collections Diamonds by the Yard and the Open Heart designs on the designer end. He added that the softest category was high, fine and solitary jewelry. And while there was “success of our Victoria collections in platinum and diamonds,” Aaron noted there was some softness at the “highest end of this category.”Randal J. Konik of Jefferies has a “buy” rating on shares of Tiffany and a price target of $110. He said, “Fundamentals are improving even before the new creative executive, new chief financial officer and to-be-determined new ceo have yet to act. We expect product newness to accelerate and company efficiencies will improve, leading to better earnings.”The company in January named Reed Krakoff chief artistic officer. The company in September named Mark Erceg its new cfo.
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)