It was a tough act to follow, those dazzling full-year numbers that Tiffany & Co.
Recent retail numbers and some "sky is falling" commentary have cast a shadow over the prospects for America's buying spree, but things haven't cooled too much for Tiffany. This quarter, the figures are still plenty shiny, even if they don't sparkle quite the same.
For Q1, the high-end retailer posted a 15% revenue increase, bringing in $457 million. But foreign-exchange gains were responsible for a big chunk of the performance, leaving the constant-dollar increase at 11%. Comps were up 9%, which is better than just about anyone in the retail game these days. Earnings polished up to $0.27 per share, 12% better than the prior year.
As during last quarter, sales in the good, old U.S.A. outpaced the rest of the world, with 23% growth and an incredible comps improvement of 20%. If there's another economic dip coming up, clearly it hasn't been much of a worry to the folks who shell out $1,800 for a graduation gift like the "cushion bangle" or $6,300 for Tiffany Lace sunburst earrings.
Japan was the soggiest performer once again -- which might make shareholders wonder about the wisdom of planning two more stores for the country -- and overall, international sales had a drop in comps, and only a 2% rise in constant-dollar revenues.
Management's full-year prediction for 12% growth in net earnings was a stitch below the Street's expectations, and the stock received the jittery market's usual 5% haircut on that news. Even so, shares trade at a forward P/E near 22, which looks fair, given the outlook. Conservative guidance from one of the world's best brand names is no reason to run for the exits. But investors with cash burning a hole in their trousers -- who don't want to roll it on those sunburst earrings -- will probably find better value elsewhere.