Tiffany Cautious on 2014, But Sees Sales Rising

By EarningsFOXBusiness

Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) unleashed a tepid full-year outlook on Friday, but said it was optimistic aggressive expansion plans and new management hires can help it deliver “healthy” growth.

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The New York-based luxury jewelry maker, known for its baby blue boxes, is anticipating fiscal 2014 earnings in the range of $4.05 to $4.15 a share, assuming sales rise by a high-single-digit percentage.

Analysts in a Thomson Reuters poll were calling for stronger earnings of $4.28 a share.

The mixed outlook comes as Tiffany reports a loss of $104 million, or 81 cents a share for the fourth quarter. Excluding a charge of $2.27 a share related to an adverse court ruling against Swatch, the company said it earned $190 million, or $1.47 a share.

While up from $180 million, or $1.40, a year ago, that's short of the consensus view of $1.52.

Revenue for the three months ended Jan. 31 grew 5% to $1.3 billion as sales improved across its key U.S., European and Asian markets. Same-store sales, a growth metric of sales at stores open longer than a year, increased 6%.

“Sales and operating earnings (excluding the arbitration-related charge) rose to record levels,” Tiffany CEO Michael Kowalski said in a statement.

Looking toward the new fiscal year, Kowalski said the jeweler is enthusiastic and focused on delivering “healthy rates” of sales and earnings growth.

Meanwhile, Tiffany announced a new $300 million stock buyback program set to take place over the next three years.

Its shares fell 1.6% to $89.66 in recent trade. They remain up about 32% on the year.