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Tiffany Meets Views but Sales, Net Tumble

Jeweler Tiffany (TIF) reported first-quarter earnings of $24.3 million, or 20 cents a share, in line with the estimates of analysts, but a decline of 62% from a year earlier as sales tumbled 22%.

Net sales in the first quarter were $523.1 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters estimates sales at $533 million. On a constant-exchange-rate basis, worldwide net sales declined 18%, with a 21% drop in comparable-store sales, Tiffany said in a statement Friday.

In the Americas, first-quarter sales declined 31% to $259 million, while comparable U.S. store sales fell 34%. Sales fell 42% at its New York flagship store sales.

Tiffany reaffirmed its full-year expectations for a worldwide sales decline of 11% and net earnings from continuing operations of $1.50 to $1.60 a share. Analysts are expecting earnings for the year of $1.56 a share on sales of $2.52 billion.

"We are now almost one month into our second quarter and, although it's still too early to draw any conclusions, we are seeing a lessening in the rate of year-over-year total sales decline, as we expected," said Michael Kowalski, chairman and CEO. "The rate of decline has improved slightly in the Americas and to a greater extent in other regions. Therefore, we reaffirm our previously-announced full year expectations."

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