Diamonds are still, it seems, a girl's best friend.
Tiffany & Co. (TIF) reported a 3% uptick in net sales in the third quarter and earnings of 80 cents a share, exceeding Wall Street predictions of 76 cents. Total revenue for the quarter ended Oct. 31 was $976 million, beating analysts' forecasts of $957 million.
Comparable-store sales, however, fell 1% worldwide. In the U.S., Tiffnay experienced a 1% rise but the rate was dragged down by dwindling sales in Japan and Europe, the company reported Wednesday, Nov. 29. So far this year, Tiffnay has opened seven new stores and closed five.
"These latest financial results marginally exceeded our expectations, but I believe that Tiffany has the medium- to long-term potential to achieve meaningful comparable-store sales growth and drive higher operating margins and earnings growth," said CEO Alessandro Bogliolo, who joined the company just last month.
"Looking forward, we will increasingly capitalize on the strength of the Tiffany & Co. brand with stronger organizational focus on innovation in product, digital, communication and the customer experience."
Bogliolo joined Tiffany from Bulgari SpA, where he served as chief operating officer. Previous Tiffany CEO Frederic Cumenal, who led the company for less than two years, was ousted in February on the heels of an activist campaign from Jana Partners LLC.
Gross margin for the jewelry retailer was 61.3% in the third quarter, reflecting "favorable product input costs partly offset by the negative effect of increased wholesale sales of diamonds," the company said.
Tiffany's biggest announcement in recent months was its opening of the Blue Box Café at its Fifth Avenue flagship location in Manhattan, where patrons now can literally have breakfast at Tiffany's, à la Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly.
When the restaurant and café opened Nov. 10, the line to get in stretched around the block. A Racked reporter waited up to four hours to snag a spot.
Tiffany's stock rose 20% in value in 2017, a recovery from two years of sluggish demand. Shares were up nearly 1% Wednesday in premarket trading to about $94.
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