(By Balachander) Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) forecasts full-year profit at the lower-end of its guidance, saying holiday period sales growth was at the low-end of its expectations.
For the two-month period ended December, the jeweler said worldwide net sales grew 4 percent to $992 million. Comparable store sales were unchanged from the prior-year period on a constant-exchange-rate basis.
Last month, the company reduced its 2012 forecast yet again after posting third-quarter earnings that trailed market expectations amid sharp contraction of margins. It forecast EPS in the range of $3.20 to $3.40 on net sales growth at 5 percent to 6 percent.
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Wall Street, analysts, on average expect EPS of $3.26 on sales rise of 5.20 percent for the year ending January 31.
On a constant-exchange-rate basis, Americas sales rose 2 percent while comps fell 2 percent in the New York flagship store and in branch stores for the holiday period.
Asia-Pacific region sales grew 11 percent helped by gains in Greater China and most other markets and comps increased 7 percent.
In Japan, total sales and comps gained 1 percent.
Europe sales grew 2 percent and comps were equal to last year, Tiffany said.
At Dec. 31, 2012, Tiffany operated 274 stores versus 246 stores a year ago.
TIF shares closed Wednesday's regular trading at $63.26. The stock has been trading between $49.72 and $74.20 over the past year.