Harry Winston Shares Slide After Fiscal 3Q Report

By The Associated Press

Shares of Harry Winston Diamond Corp. slid Friday, a day after the Canadian company reported a profit in its fiscal third quarter but said slower growth could affect the holiday season.

THE SPARK: The Toronto company said Thursday that it earned $3.4 million, or 4 cents per share, in the three months that ended Oct. 31. That contrasts with a loss of $4.7 million, or 6 cents per share, in last year's quarter. Revenue soared 51 percent to $180.4 million.

Sales from the company's mining segment more than doubled to $84.8 million due to an increase in the volume of carats sold during the quarter offset partially by rough diamond prices. The company also said it saw strong growth in bridal jewelry sales.

Harry Winston cautioned that European economic uncertainty, softening consumer demand in China and U.S. budget policy issues will likely lead to slower near-term growth.

THE BACKGROUND: Harry Winston supplies rough diamonds through its ownership stake in the Diavik diamond mine. The company's luxury brand segment is a diamond jeweler and luxury time piece retailer with locations in New York, Paris, London and Tokyo, among other cities.

THE ANALYSIS: Citi analyst Oliver Chen said in a research that the company's results topped his expectation for 2 cents per share, and luxury sales growth was "solid" globally.

SHARE ACTION: Down 1.7 percent, or 24 cents, to $14.17 in Friday afternoon trading. Its shares have traded in a 52-week range of $9.51 to $15.92 over the past year.
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