Tiffany Holiday Period Net Sales Down; Sees FY18 Earnings At Low End Of Range

( - Tiffany & Co. ( TIF ) on Friday reported a decline in sales results for the two months, or holiday period, ended December 31, 2018. Looking ahead, the company updated its outlook for fiscal 2018 and provided preliminary guidance for fiscal 2019.

Worldwide net sales for the holiday period declined 1 percent to $1.04 billion and comparable sales declined 2 percent.

However, on a constant-exchange-rate basis that excludes the effect of translating foreign-currency-denominated sales into U.S. dollars, both net sales and comparable sales were equal to the prior year.

Alessandro Bogliolo, Chief Executive Officer, said, "With continued strong sales growth in mainland China (by a double-digit percentage), solid results in Japan and healthy growth in global ecommerce sales, overall holiday sales results came in short of our expectations which had called for modest year-over-year growth."

"We attribute the difference partly to lower sales to foreign (primarily Chinese) tourists globally, and to softening demand attributed to local customers in the Americas and Europe, which we believe may have been influenced more than expected by external events, uncertainties and market volatilities," Bogliolo added.

Based on these holiday period sales results, Tiffany now expects that its worldwide net sales for fiscal 2018 will increase by 6 to 7 percent over the prior year both as reported and on a constant-exchange-rate basis, while net earnings per share will likely be towards the lower end of its previously-disclosed range of $4.65 to $4.80 per share.

These revised expectations are approximations and are based on the company's plans and assumptions for the full year, including mid-single-digit comparable sales growth, among others.

Earlier, Tiffany forecast fiscal 2018 net earnings per share in a range of $4.65 to $4.80 per share, and worldwide net sales to increase by a high-single-digit percentage over the prior year both as reported and on a constant-exchange-rate basis.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report earnings of $4.77 per share on revenues of $4.51 billion. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

The company said that given external challenges and uncertainties, its preliminary outlook for fiscal 2019 includes worldwide net sales increasing by a low-single-digit percentage over the prior year as reported and on a constant-exchange-rate basis; while net earnings per share is projected to increase by a mid-single-digit percentage.

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