When you think of the holiday season, Santa Claus, toys, and the 24-hour marathon of A Christmas Story come to mind. And something else -- jewelry. A lot of the sparkly stuff is sold as gifts. Tiffany & Co.'s
Net sales for Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 jumped 14%. Global same-store sales increased 7%. This compares positively with what Tiffany reported last year at this time -- net sales had increased 9% and worldwide comps growth was 6%. Sales in the U.S. advanced 12%, driven by a same-store sales increase of 8%. Last year, the increases were 8% and 6%, respectively. International sales rose 14% and international comps jumped 6%; last year, the growth was 8% and 6%. These figures exclude the effects of currencies.
So Tiffany enjoyed the holiday retail season. Not all metrics improved, though (hey, it's rare for everything to go up at once). Direct marketing sales rose 10% this time around versus a more robust 14% gain last season. Don't fret, because sales in the "other" category really moved up, 51% compared with an increase of 14% one year ago.
This sales update comes after a nice, analyst-beating earnings report at the end of November. It seems that Tiffany will be able to build on this momentum, since it plans to open 10 more stores overseas and five to seven locations in the U.S. This should further aid the top line and help the luxury retailer reach its goal of growing its bottom line by 13% to 15% in 2007.
Another thing Tiffany has going for it is possible further expansion in international markets. Fellow Fool Nate Parmelee believes that China, as well as other Southeast Asian countries, will benefit the business; also look for Australia and some parts of Europe to help expand sales.
Tiffany's stock has experienced its share of ups and downs over the past five years, so it would behoove an investor to get in at a good price. I'd suggest being patient for a better yield on the stock. Tiffany now yields about 1% and is closer to its 52-week high than its 52-week low. It is worth noting, though, that the company seems to be confident about the future, as indicated by its recent dividend hikes.
I like Tiffany's prospects, and I like that it shares some of the wealth via increasing dividend payouts. Tiffany is not alone in the high-end world of luxury retailing -- there's also Blue Nile
For more Takes on Tiffany:
- Tiffany's Growing Shine
- Tiffany's Sparkles: Fool by Numbers
- Tiffany and Blue Nile's Clash of the Titans: A Recap
Are high yields something you look for in companies? So does James Early, lead analyst at The Motley Fool's Income Investor newsletter. To see where he's found mouth-watering yields, take a free trial for 30 days. Blue Nile has been recommended in both Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Hidden Gems.
Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns none of the companies mentioned. As of this writing, he was ranked 2,481 out of 19,674 investors in Motley Fool CAPS. Don't know what CAPS is? Check it out. The Fool has a disclosure policy.