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Tiffany Gleams After Giving Outlook

The retailer projects strong international sales will help it through a slower year in the U.S.
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Investors seem to believe that international sales growth will be enough to keep Tiffany (TIF) - Get Tiffany & Co. Report shining through a U.S. slowdown.

Shares of the luxury goods maker were surging 11% Friday after the company offered its projections for the recently begun fiscal year. Tiffany forecast at least a 10% increase in sales and earnings of $2.50 to $2.55 a share, which would meet or exceed analysts' current estimate of $2.50.

Those earnings would mark an 11% to 12% increase over projections for the recently ended fiscal year. Tiffany has forecast a profit of $2.25 to $2.28 a share for the year ended Jan. 31.

Tiffany said it is planning for a high-single-digit percentage increase in U.S. retail sales for the coming year, and a mid-teens percentage rise in international retail sales for the year.

"Generally speaking, we are planning our U.S. businesses cautiously for the first half of 2008 while planning for continued healthy international sales growth throughout the year," said Chairman and CEO Michael Kowalski in a statement.

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Prior to Friday's move, Tiffany shares have tumbled 17% since the beginning of the year after the company reported

lackluster U.S. holiday sales, spurring worries that a spending slowdown has spread to the luxury sector and will hamper results in the coming year.

Tiffany said Friday that U.S. sales for January were "modestly improved" from December, and it's seeing ongoing strength in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, outside of Japan.

Shares of Tiffany recently were up $4.04 to $42.22.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.