Tiffany Earnings, Sales Shine in Latest Quarter

tiffany store customers new york city
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NEW YORK -- Tiffany says its first-quarter net income rose 3 percent as sales improved across all regions.

The results beat Wall Street expectations, and its shares rose more than 6 percent in premarket trading. The high-end jewelry company known for its blue boxes earned $83.6 million, or 65 cents a share, for the period ended April 30. That's up from $81.5 million, or 64 cents a share, a year ago.

Excluding costs tied to staff and occupancy cuts, earnings were 70 cents a share. This easily beat the 53 cents a share analyst expected. Revenue for the New York company rose 10 percent to $895.5 million from $819.2 million, topping Wall Street's $855.7 million estimate.

Sales increased 9 percent globally to $895 million. The conversion of five Tiffany stores in the United Arab Emirates to company-run stores from independently run stores in July helped other sales triple to $27 million. Sales for the Asia-Pacific region rose 15 percent to $223 million.

In the Americas, sales climbed 6 percent to $408 million. European sales also increased 6 percent to $93 million, while sales in Japan rose 2 percent to $145 million. Tiffany & Co. (TIF) shares rose $4.89, or 6.4 percent, to $81.10 in premarket trading about two hours before the market opening.

For the second quarter, Tiffany anticipates earnings will be equal to the prior-year period's 72 cents a share. Analysts expect 79 cents a share.

But Tiffany reaffirmed its fiscal 2013 earnings forecast of $3.43 to $3.53 a share on Tuesday. Wall Street predicts $3.48 a share. Chairman and CEO Michael Kowalski said in a statement that the chain was sticking with its guidance because of ongoing soft sales in the Americas and the weaker yen.

The company had 275 stores at quarter's end.

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