Tiffany&Co. beat analysts' expectations for its fiscal fourth quarter but its guidance for the year ahead fell short, sending its shares duly lower.
The iconic jewellery retailer's net sales jumped 9% over the three months ending on 31 January 2018 to reach $1.334bn, edging past analysts' estimates calling for $1.3bn on the top line.
Net profits over those same three months on the other hand declined from the $157.8m or $1.27 a share seen a year earlier to $61.9m or $0.50 per share.
However, excluding extraordinary charges, EPS in fact improved from $1.45 twelve months ago to $1.67, beating the median projection from analysts polled by FactSet of $1.64.
Tiffany's forecast for 2018 on the other hand didn't impress investors.
Management predicted worldwide net sales would increase at a pace in the mid-single-digits, while full-year profits per share were projected to increase to a range of between $4.25-$4.45, with the mid-point of that range shy of analysts' estimated profits of $4.37 per share.
Alessandro Bogliolo, Chief Executive Officer, said, “The most important thing is to generate sustainable growth in sales, margins and earnings over the long-term. Confirming what we recently indicated, we believe that increasing investment now in certain areas, such as technology, marketing communications, visual merchandising, digital and store presentations, which we expect will hinder pre-tax earnings growth in the near-term, is needed to generate that lasting long-term growth.”
Tiffany opened nine Company-operated stores during the last fiscal year and closed seven.
Over taht same time frame, the Company also repurchased more than one million shares, including almost 400,000 shares in the fourth quarter, at a total cost to shareholders for the year of $99m and of $39m in the fourth quarter.
As of 1653 GMT, the company's shares were falling by 4.11%.