Shares of Tiffany & Co. rose 4 percent to $79.22 Tuesday as the New York-based retailer topped Wall Street’s first-quarter earnings and sales projections.
Although robust global sales, which were anchored by strength in its Asia-Pacific region, propped up the luxe jeweler’s financials, the company maintained a cautious stance, citing economic instability in the Americas and a weaker Japanese yen.
For the period ended April 30, Tiffany registered a 2.5 percent gain in net income to $83.6 million, or 65 cents a diluted share. This compared with year-ago income of $81.5 million, or 64 cents a share. Stripping out costs tied to staff and occupancy cuts, earnings totaled 70 cents a share.
Quarterly net sales expanded 9.3 percent to $895.5 million from sales of $819.2 million, a year earlier.
Wall Street projected earnings per share of 52 cents on sales of $855.1 million.
“While first-quarter sales and earnings exceeded our expectations, we are maintaining our earnings forecast for the full year, mindful of continuing soft sales results in the Americas and the negative translation effect of a weaker yen,” said Michael Kowalski, chairman and chief executive officer.
The ceo said the retailer is continuing with various initiatives this year, including its Great Gatsby and Ziegfeld lines, the Harmony engagement ring and an updating of its Atlas collection. Tiffany plans to add a net 14 stores this year and also will launch its redesigned Web site.
Sales in the Americas expanded 6 percent to $408 million, which according to Tiffany chief financial officer Pat McGuiness was “below” the company’s expectations.
On the company call, McGuiness said the 6 percent sales growth was “entirely due to an increase in average price,” adding that “unit growth in the higher priced statement and fine jewelry was offset by unit declines at more moderate price points categories.”
The company noted it would no longer quantify the performance of its New York flagship since it represents only 8 percent of its worldwide sales.
During the quarter, sales in the Asia-Pacific region jumped 15 percent to $223 million. In Japan, sales edged up 2 percent to $145 million despite the softening yen. Tiffany spokesman Mark Aaron attributed the gain to the fact that the company unveiled impending price increases on April 10, which “spurred purchasing in advance of the increase.”
In Europe, sales increased 6 percent to $93 million, while other sales tripled to $27 million, primarily due to the conversion in July 2012 of five Tiffany doors in the United Arab Emirates to company-run stores.
Tiffany reiterated its fiscal 2013 guidance of EPS between $3.43 and $3.53, which was in range with analysts’ expectations of $3.48 a share.
“We’re encouraged with the start of the year but caution you to not draw overly optimistic conclusions from the first quarter, which generates a relatively small percentage of sales and earnings in comparison with annual results,” Aaron told analysts and investors.
The company said it expects second-quarter EPS to be “on par” with last year’s earnings of 72 cents. Analysts are looking for 79 cents a share.
For its next men’s wear collection, @roberto_cavalli will show as a special guest at #PittiUomo, running from June 12-15. The brand, which has Florence in its roots, will relaunch its men’s wear collection, which will be presented separately from women’s wear for the first time since Paul Surridge was appointed creative director in May. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.