Why Tiffany Earnings Were Not Enough

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When Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) reported its fiscal first-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Wednesday, the company said that it had $0.74 in earnings per share (EPS) and $899.6 million in revenue. Consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters had called for $0.70 in EPS and revenue of $913.44 million. In the same period a year ago, it posted EPS of $0.69 and $891.3 million in revenue.

During the most recent quarter, worldwide net sales increased 2% due to growth in Asia-Pacific and an increase in the wholesale sale of diamonds, as well as sales growth in Europe. Comparable store sales declined 2%. Higher fashion and designer jewelry sales contrasted with softness in other categories.

In terms of guidance of the 2018 fiscal year, the company expects worldwide net sales to increase by a low single-digit percentage and EPS to increase by a high single-digit percentage. The consensus estimates are $3.97 in EPS and $4.11 billion in revenue.

Tiffany repurchased approximately $11.5 million worth of common stock. At the end of the quarter, $299 million remained available for repurchases under a program that authorizes the repurchase of up to $500 million that expires at the end of January 2019.

On the books, Tiffany’s cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaled $960.0 million at the end of the quarter, compared with $789.9 million in the first quarter last year.

Michael J. Kowalski, board chair and interim CEO, commented:

While these results modestly exceeded our near-term expectations, we are focused on executing long-term strategies to achieve stronger and sustainable performance through product introductions, optimization of our store base, effective marketing communications and the delivery of experiences that resonate with our customers. In so doing, we believe Tiffany is well-positioned to generate an attractive total shareholder return over the long-term.

Shares of Tiffany traded down almost 9% Wednesday morning to $84.86, with a consensus analyst price target of $96.72 and a 52-week trading range of $56.99 to $97.29. The stock was last down 6.9% at $86.76 in early trading indications Wednesday.