Iconic jeweler Tiffany (TIF) on Wednesday reported second-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street forecasts but were still lower than year-ago numbers as the company struggled with slowing demand, exchange rate pressures and business disruptions resulting from ongoing protests in Hong Kong.
The New York-based high-end retailer posted net income of $136.3 million, or $1.12 a share, vs. $144.7 million, or $1.17 a share, in the comparable year-ago period. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting earnings of $1.04 a share.
However, the company posted global net sales of $1 billion, a drop of 3% from a year ago and below the $1.1 billion analysts surveyed by FactSet had been expecting. Comparable same-store sales, a key retail metric, dropped 3%.
Tiffany CEO Alessandro Bogliolo pointed to a variety of factors behind the lower numbers, including tough-to-beat performance last year and "headwinds of weak demand from foreign tourists, currency exchange rate pressures and continuing business disruptions in Hong Kong."
Tiffany is the first retailer to directly attribute the economic impact of ongoing protests in Hong Kong. Since June, millions of Hong Kong residents have staged ongoing pro-democracy demonstrations against plans to move court proceedings and legal jurisdiction to mainland China.
For the remainder of the year, Tiffany re-iterated its previous guidance of global net sales increasing by "a low-single-digit percentage" over the last year, and net earnings per share gaining by "a low-to-mid-single-digit percentage" over fiscal 2018.
Shares of Tiffany were down 1.83% at $83.50 in early trading on Wednesday.
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