Nothing says "love" like a little blue box. OK, maybe devotion, honesty, and adoration do, but there's just something about those Tiffany
For the quarter ended Jan. 31, revenues rose 9% to $619 million. Removing currency effects, worldwide total sales climbed 8% while same-store sales fell 1%. Within the U.S., total sales were up 3% for the quarter. At the company's beloved New York flagship store, revenues increased 1%.
Japan continues to be a weak spot, which hurts since it's the company's second-biggest market. Total quarterly sales there declined 3% and comps were off 10%. Back in the third quarter, Tiffany pointed to declining sales of engagement rings in Japan as a culprit for its problems. Couple that with the country's ongoing economic woes, and the company's challenges there make sense.
Tiffany earned $89.3 million in the quarter, or $0.60 a share, a penny ahead of estimates. It had hoped to make as much as $0.64 to $0.67 a share prior to last month, when it cut expectations to $0.57-$0.62. In the year-ago quarter, it earned $82.7 million, or $0.55 a share.
The company is being a bit cautious in its fiscal 2003 outlook, which is understandable given the environment. Still, it predicts sales will grow in the low teens, with comp sales up in the single digits for both the U.S. and Japan. Earnings should come in between $1.33 and $1.38 a share, representing 8% to 12% growth over 2002 (excluding a non-recurring Q3 tax benefit).