(By Balachander) Signet Jewelers Ltd. (NYSE:SIG) reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings, helped by a 12.5 percent rise in same store sales at Kay and the company's guidance matched market expectations.
The Hamilton, Bermuda-based retail jeweler in the U.S. and UK earned $70.7 million or 85 cents a share for the second quarter, up from $66.3 million or 76 cents per share in the comparable period of last year. Earnings per share (EPS) topped Wall Street projections of 83 cents.
Sales increased 7 percent to $854 million, yet were slightly short of market expectations of a rise of 7.50 percent.
Same store sales advanced 7 percent, with U.S. and UK division registering growth of 8.2 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.
Gross margin shrank to 36.4 percent from 37.0 percent.
Looking ahead for the third quarter, Signet forecasts EPS between 34 cents and 38 cents, in line with Wall Street projections. It expects same store sales in the range of low to mid single digits.
The stock, which has been trading in the 52-week range of $32.22 to $51.44, closed at $47.50 on Wednesday.