Tiffany & Co., the world’s second-largest luxury jewelry retailer, said full-year earnings will be at the low end of its forecast after holiday sales growth slowed in the Americas and Asia. The shares fell.
Sales in November and December rose 4 percent to $992 million worldwide, the New York-based company said in a statement. That was slower than the 7 percent gain Tiffany recorded in the same period a year earlier.
High-income consumers’ confidence waned in the U.S. as the prospect of higher taxes approached, while sales of lower-priced jewelry continued to be under pressure during a holiday season that was muted for most retailers, David Schick, an analyst at Stifel Financial Corp., who recommends holding the shares, said in a Jan. 7 note. China’s luxury spending also cooled.
Tiffany fell 8.7 percent to $57.76 at 7:57 a.m. in New York. Cie. Financiere Richemont SA, the world’s largest luxury jewelry maker, fell 2.3 percent to 75.90 Swiss francs in Zurich.
In the Americas, which includes the U.S., Canada and Latin America, Tiffany’s holiday sales rose 3 percent. Sales in the region increased 4 percent a year earlier. In Asia, sales growth shrank to 13 percent from 19 percent a year earlier.
European sales gained 2 percent, compared with an increase of 1 percent a year ago.
Profit excluding some items will be at the low end of its previous forecast of $3.20 to $3.40 a share in the year ending Jan. 31, the company said. Analysts projected $3.31, the average of 21 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. The company earned $3.60 a share in the year ended January 2012.
“Due to uncertainty about general economic conditions in all our major markets, management is planning sales growth conservatively for 2013,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Kowalski said in the statement.
Tiffany projects earnings growth in 2013 of 6 percent to 9 percent.
Tiffany will report fourth-quarter earnings on March 22.
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