Tiffany Holiday Sales Disappoint, Sees '13 EPS at Low End of Range

By RetailFOXBusiness

Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) spooked shareholders on Thursday by saying its same-store sales flatlined during the holiday-shopping season, prompting the jewelry company to issue a profit warning.

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Shares of Tiffany tumbled 8% on the gloomy holiday results.

Tiffany said its net sales increased 4% to $992 million during the crucial months of November and December, but same-store sales were largely flat.

Total sales rose in most regions, highlighted by a 13% jump in Asia-Pacific to $187 million and a 3% gain in the Americas to $516 million. But European sales rose just 2% to $119 million and sales in Japan slumped 5% to $153 million. Tiffany also said sales at its New York flagship store dropped 2%.

Given the disappointing holiday sales, Tiffany said it now anticipates full-year earnings to be at the “lower-end” of its forecast issued in late November for EPS of $3.20 to $3.40.

That means Tiffany could end up missing Wall Street’s consensus expectations for full-year EPS of $3.26.

Due to “uncertainty about general economic conditions,” Tiffany CEO Michael Kowalski warned the company is “planning sales growth conservatively” in 2013, pegging earnings growth at 6% to 9%.

Tiffany is scheduled to report full results on March 22.

Shares of New York-based Tiffany dropped 7.27% to $58.66 ahead of the opening bell on Thursday, putting them on track to extend their 12-month decline of 3.8%.

While Tiffany disclosed flat holiday sales, rival Zale (NYSE:ZLC) said its holiday same-store sales rose 2.3% and told investors it expects to achieve positive net income for 2013.