Signet Jewelers Misses Sales Expectations, Provides Downbeat Outlook

By Tomi KilgoreMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Signet Jewelers Ltd. shares were indicated down more than 2% in premarket trade Thursday, after the jewelry retailer missed fiscal first-quarter sales expectations and provided a downbeat outlook. For the quarter ended April 30, earnings rose to $146.8 million, or $1.87 a share, from $118.8 million, or $1.48 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $1.95, above the FactSet consensus of $1.94. Revenue increased to $1.58 billion from $1.53 billion, but missed the FactSet consensus of $1.61 billion. Same-store sales grew 2.4%, compared with the FactSet consensus of a 3.6% increase, with its Zale, U.K. Jewelry and Sterling Jewelers divisions all falling shy of forecasts. For the current quarter, Signet expects same-store sales growth of 1% to 2%, below the FactSet consensus of 3.5%. Adjusted EPS is expected to be $1.49 to $1.54, surrounding the FactSet consensus of $1.53. Separately, Signet said it retained Goldman Sachs to help conduct a strategic evaluation of its credit portfolio. "The primary objective of this process will be to ensure Signet has an optimized business structure that enhances our ability to execute against our strategic objectives which in turn delivers value for shareholders," said Chief Executive Mark Light. The stock has tumbled 12% year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.3%.

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