NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Tiffany & Co. (TIF) may decline today after the upscale jeweler reported a profit forecast on Friday that was below estimates even though it projected net worldwide sales would increase by a high-single digit percentage in 2014. The company forecast a profit of $4.05 to $4.15 per share this fiscal year. Wall Street analysts projected $4.28 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Tiffany reported a loss of $103.6 million, or 81 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, mostly the result of losing an arbitration ruling against Swatch Group (SWGAY). A year ago, it reported a profit of $179.6 million, or $1.40 a share. Worldwide net sales increased 5% to $1.3 billion
In the 12 months ended January 31, 2014, worldwide net sales increased 6% to $4.0 billion. On a constant-exchange-rate basis, worldwide net sales rose 10% and comparable store sales rose 6% due to growth in all regions. Net earnings were $181 million, or $1.41 per diluted share. Excluding the fourth quarter charge, as well as expenses of $9 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, that had been recorded in this year's first quarter for specific staff and occupancy reductions, net earnings increased 15% to $481 million, or $3.73 per diluted share, from $416 million, or $3.25 per diluted share, in the prior year.
Separately, Tfiffany announced today that its Board of Directors approved a new stock repurchase program. The previous program expired at the end of January 2014. Effective immediately, this new program authorizes the repurchase of up to $300 million of Tiffany's Common Stock through open market transactions. Purchases are discretionary and will be made from time to time based on market conditions and the company's liquidity needs. The program will expire on March 31, 2017.