Tiffany Earnings Dulled by Grim Outlook

Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2015 results before markets opened on Friday. The luxury goods company reported adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.46 on revenues of $1.2 billion for the quarter. In the same period a year ago, Tiffany reported EPS of $1.51 and revenue of $1.29 billion. Fourth-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $1.40 and revenue of $1.21 billion.

For the full year, Tiffany posted $3.83 EPS and revenue of $4.1 billion, compared with year-ago EPS of $4.20 and revenues of $4.25 billion. Analysts were looking for EPS of $3.77 and $4.10 billion in revenue.

On a constant currency basis, net sales and same-store sales rose 2% for the year and declined 2% in the fourth quarter. On a GAAP basis, EPS for the year came to $3.59, which includes an impairment charge of $37.9 million that Tiffany recorded for a loan to a diamond mining company and $8.8 million in restructuring charges.

U.S. fourth-quarter same-store sales fell 5% on a constant exchange rate basis and 6% on a dollar basis.

CEO Frederic Cumenal said:

We faced various challenges during the year that negatively affected our financial results, especially related to the strong U.S. dollar. … Worldwide sales growth of only 2% on a constant-exchange-rate basis, or down 3% as reported, along with the lack of earnings growth, did not meet the forecasts we had communicated at the start of the year; however, we were pleased with an increase in gross margin, strong free cash flow, and our ability to return cash to shareholders through another dividend increase and share repurchases.

In its outlook statement, Tiffany expects fiscal year 2016 adjusted diluted EPS to be flat to down in the mid-single digits. The company also expects that diluted EPS in the first quarter may decline by 15% to 20%, followed by a 5% to 10% decline in the second quarter, with a resumption of growth in the second half of the year. Cumenal also noted that Tiffany’s “longer-term objective calls for reaching high-single-digit net earnings growth, driven by mid-single-digit worldwide net sales growth on a constant-exchange-rate basis, while also continuing to generate strong free cash flow.”

The consensus first-quarter analysts’ estimate for EPS is $0.76, down from last year’s actual first-quarter EPS of $0.81. The low end of Tiffany’s own forecast calls for EPS of around $0.69. For the full year, the consensus estimate calls for EPS of $3.86, also well above the company’s own outlook.

Shares were down 1.6% in Friday’s premarket to $69.00, in a 52-week range of $59.73 to $96.43. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of $81.35 before the results were announced.

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