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Tiffany Third-Quarter Earnings Sparkle on Strong China Sales

Tiffany continues to shine with consumers, with third-quarter sales and earnings surpassing analysts' estimates amid strong sales in mainland China and online.

Tiffany  (TIF)  continued to be a jewel among consumers in the third quarter, with sales and earnings surpassing analysts’ estimates amid strong sales in mainland China and online.

The famed New York high-end jeweler reported net earnings of $119 million, or 98 cents a share, in the third quarter, up from $78.4 million, or 65 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. 

On an adjusted basis, Tiffany said it earned $1.11 a share, well ahead of the 66 cents a share expected by analysts polled by FactSet.

Sales rang in at $1.01 billion, down just slightly from a year ago but still above forecasts of $972.5 million. Comparable-store sales in constant currency terms jumped 36% in the Asia Pacific region, offsetting a 14% drop in the Americas as well as a 9% drop in Europe and a 5% decline in Japan, Tiffany said.

Sales in mainland China grew “dramatically” in the third quarter, increasing by more than 70%, with comparable sales nearly doubling in that period as compared to the prior year, Tiffany said in a statement. 

E-commerce sales, meanwhile, finished the third quarter up 92% globally, while global inventory levels dropped 4%.

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“We had a strong third quarter both in sales on a relative basis and terrific results in profitability on an absolute basis, which speaks volumes about the enduring strength of the Tiffany brand and gives us confidence as we enter the important holiday season,” CEO Alessandro Bogliolo said in the statement.

The results matched Tiffany’s preliminary tally of August and September sales and operating earnings, which came in better than expected as the luxury jeweler reopened stores and ramped up its online shopping experience.

Shares of Tiffany plunged in September after the jewelry company said it planned to sue French fashion giant LVMH Moet Hennessy-Louis Vuitton undefined over stalling and then reneging on its proposed $16 billion takeover offer. 

The two companies cut a new deal last month, which is expected to be finalized in early 2021.

For the fourth quarter, Tiffany said it is expecting a "mid-single-digit percentage" drop in global sales though a "high single-digit increase" in per-share earnings, which will include costs related to the closing of its merger with LVMH.

Shares of Tiffany were up 0.17% at $131.70 in premarket trading on Tuesday.