Tiffany Tumbles on Weak Holiday Sales

Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) fell in Tuesday’s session on less than favorable holiday results. The jewelry retailer reported its sales results for the two-month period ended December 31, better known as the holiday period. Results were negatively affected by the strong U.S. dollar and weak tourist spending in a number of markets.

Looking at it on a constant-exchange-rate basis, worldwide net sales declined 3% (due to declines in the Americas and Asia-Pacific offsetting growth in Japan and Europe) and comparable store sales declined 5%. There were no noteworthy differences in performance among jewelry categories. Reported in U.S. dollars, worldwide net sales of $961 million were 6% lower than the prior year.

If we look ahead to the next year, while Tiffany’s financial plans for 2016 have not been finalized, management currently believes that the strong dollar and global macro challenges will likely result in minimal growth in net sales and net earnings, as reported in dollars and excluding charges in 2015, for the year.

Frederic Cumenal, CEO of Tiffany, commented:

In the holiday period, we continued to feel pressure from the strong U.S. dollar on the translation of non-U.S. sales into dollars and on foreign tourist spending in the U.S., which we expect will continue into 2016. We believe overall sales results were negatively affected by restrained consumer spending tied to challenging and uncertain global economic conditions and we expect 2015 earnings to come in at the low end of our previously-set range of expectations. Nonetheless, we were pleased with initial sales of our new fashion and fine jewelry designs, a solid increase in worldwide e-commerce sales and our ability to maintain gross margin at normal levels.

Shares of Tiffany were trading down 5.2% to $64.10 on Tuesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $95.13 and a 52-week trading range of $62.90 to $96.43.