Tiffany misses on sales, shares slump 5%

The luxury retailer Tiffany on Friday reported fourth-quarter sales that fell short of Wall Street estimates, sending shares down 4% ahead of the opening bell.

Tiffany said revenue totaled $US1.32 billion, just missing the $US1.33 billion that analysts surveyed by Bloomberg were hoping for as sales in Asia-Pacific slumped 1% amid strength in China and weakness elsewhere in the region. Elsewhere, sales in the US were unchanged in Q4 and slid 3% in Europe. Total comparable sales were flat, versus the up 0.1% that was expected.

The news wasn’t all bad, however, as earnings of $US1.67 a share handily beat the $US1.60 consensus.

“Our team is proud of its accomplishments in 2018 that contributed to net sales surpassing levels not seen since 2014. Softer trends in the second half of the year reflected, in part, what we believe were external challenges and uncertainties,” CEO Alessandro Bogliolo said in the earnings release.

For the full year, worldwide revenue jumped 7% to $US4.4 billion thanks to strength in Asia-Pacific, where total sales surged 13% amimd strength in greater China. Sales in North America (+5%), Japan (+8%), and Europe (+3%) also increased.

Looking ahead to fiscal year 2019, Tiffany sees worldwide net sales growing by a low-single-digit percentage and earnings per share increasing by a mid-single-digit percentage.

Tiffany was up 24% this year through Thursday.

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