Tiffany Cuts Profit Forecast as Holiday Shopping Disappoints

Reuters

Upscale jeweler Tiffany & Co cut its full-year profit forecast, citing a disappointing holiday shopping season and further weakness in Japan.

Tiffany's shares fell 11.7 percent to $91.34 in early trading on Monday after the company said it now expected an adjusted profit of $4.15-$4.20 per share in the year ending Jan. 31, down from its prior forecast of $4.20-$4.30.

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Both overall and same-store sales in the Americas, the company's biggest market, fell 1 percent in the two-month holiday shopping period ended Dec. 31, the company said.

Sales in Japan, which contributed 12 percent to total sales in the third quarter, fell 16 percent in the period.

Tiffany's sales in Japan have fallen for the past two quarters after the government raised the consumption tax to 8 percent from 5 percent, prompting shoppers to cut back on spending.

The company said it expected the strong U.S. dollar to continue to weigh on results in 2015, resulting in low-to-mid single-digit percentage growth in sales and profit.

The dollar gained nearly 13 percent against a basket of major currencies in 2014, its strongest performance since 1997.

The U.S. currency is widely expected to strengthen further in 2015 as U.S. growth outpaces that of most other big economies, prompting the Federal Reserve to start raising interest rates.

Tiffany's shares rose 15 percent in 2014. (Reporting by Nayan Das in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr)