Tiffany Beats Third-Quarter Estimates

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Tiffany

(TIF) - Get Report

posted better-than-expected earnings for the third quarter, recording a sharp increase in profit because of strong same-store sales and new store openings.

The jewelry and gifts retailer, which is based in New York, earned $36.3 million, or 24 cents a share, compared with $22 million, or 15 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Analysts expected the company to earn 21 cents a share for the quarter, according to

First Call/Thomson Financial

.

Sales for the quarter rose 15% to $369.7 million from $322.7 million last year. Same-store sales in the U.S. rose 18%, compared with a 22% increase in the third quarter of 1999.

Shares of Tiffany were recently up $5, or 14.2%, to $40.25 on the

New York Stock Exchange

.