Tiffany Shares Rally After Luxury Slump Shows Signs of Easing

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Tiffany & Co. rose as much as 6.5 percent after improving sales in China and Japan signalled that the worst of the global luxury market’s downturn may be over.

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NEW YORK, United States — Tiffany & Co. rose as much as 6.5 percent after improving sales in China and Japan signalled that the worst of the global luxury market’s downturn may be over.

Better-than-expected earnings followed an upbeat report from LVMH and Kering SA, the owner of Gucci. Still, not everyone in the industry is optimistic. Richemont, the maker of Cartier jewellery, reported a 51 percent drop in first-half profit this month, and Swiss watch exports are suffering their worst slide in seven years.

Tiffany had been contending with weaker spending in Asia and slower tourism after terrorist attacks in Paris. The jeweller responded by introducing more products and trying to keep its costs and inventory in check.

“The results are definitely better,” said Seema Shah, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “It’s a good sign.”

The shares climbed as high as $83.25 in early trading New York. Tiffany had advanced 2.4 percent this year through Monday.

Earnings were 76 cents a share in the period ended October 31, the New York-based company said in a statement Tuesday. Analysts projected 68 cents, on average.

Revenue rose 1.2 percent to $949.3 million, topping analysts’ $922.6 million average estimate. Sales at the company’s stores open for more than 12 months fell 3 percent on a constant-currency basis. Analysts had projected sales by that measure would slip 4.1 percent.

Tiffany’s Asian divisions led the gains, with net sales in the Asia-Pacific unit climbing about 4 percent to $247 million, driven by double-digit growth in China. Revenue in the Japan division increased 13 percent to $150 million, helped by the strengthening yen.

Americas Sales

In the Americas, net sales dropped 2 percent. Tiffany said that its flagship New York store — which is next to the residence of President-elect Donald Trump, where security has been heightened since his election — has experienced adverse traffic effects and “continued sales softness.”

Sales fell 10 percent in Europe, the company’s worst regional performance. Europe’s luxury industry has been grappling with a slowdown caused by ebbing demand among Asian shoppers and recent terrorist attacks.

Tiffany maintained its forecast that earnings per share would decline by a mid-single-digit percentage this year and that global net sales would fall by a low-single-digit percentage.

Despite the early signs of a rebound, risks remain for Tiffany, Bloomberg Intelligence’s Shah said. The company could be hurt if the Trump administration decides on a more closed economy, she said.

“I’m still a little concerned about the Americas,” she said. “I don’t think the global headwinds have subsided.”

By Stephanie Wong Courtesy Business of Fashion

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