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.
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
After showing in front of the Eiffel Tower for his last two women’s ready-to-wear collection, it looks like @anthonyvaccarello may be heading to the Big Apple. Sources say the designer will stage his next @ysl show in NYC on June 6. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion