Tiffany & Co
Tiffany estimated on Monday that global sales would rise 12 percent to 14 percent this fiscal year on gains of more than 20 percent in Europe and Asia outside of Japan, markets that have led the company's torrid growth in recent years.
Since the massive earthquake and tsunami struck Japan 10 days ago and set off a nuclear emergency there, shares of luxury goods companies have tumbled as investors worried about the effect of sales in their second-largest market.
Tiffany said sales in Japan would slip 15 percent this quarter, a smaller hit than Wall Street was expecting.
It could have been much worse, said Morningstar analyst Paul Swinand. Growth in emerging markets such as China and Brazil should make up for the problems in Japan, he said.
Tiffany's sales in Japan have been gently sliding for years but still make up nearly 20 percent of the total. The company estimated worldwide sales would rise 11 percent in the current quarter.
Even if Tiffany only hits the low end of its forecast, it would have full-year sales of $3.46 billion, beating Wall Street's expectations of $3.37 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S/.
The key source of growth for the luxury sector is China. The nation should provide more than half of the industry's total gains over the next 10 years, supported by a near-term recovery in the U.S. consumer market, Deutsche Bank said in a research note last week.
During the fourth quarter ended on January 31, Tiffany opened four new stores in China, including two in Shanghai, even as it closed permanently closed two in Japan.
Chief Executive Officer Michael Kowalski said in a statement that most of the stores in Japan it had closed after the earthquake reopened over the weekend. Tiffany operates 55 stores in Japan, almost one quarter of its overall number.
But Kowalski said the Japan store closings after the quake would hit earnings per share by 5 cents this quarter, prompting the company to forecast a profit of 57 cents from continuing operations.
For the full fiscal year, Tiffany expects to earn $3.35 to $3.45 per share.
Globally, sales rose 14 percent over the holiday quarter, with sales up in every region, even Japan. At Tiffany's flagship store on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, which accounts for about 8 percent of company revenue, sales were up 2 percent.
Net income from continuing operations rose 31.1 percent to $181.2 million, or $1.41 per share, from $138.2 million, or $1.09 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, Tiffany reported earnings of $1.44 per share, beating Wall Street's average estimate of $1.39, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Gross margins rose 2.2 percentage points to 60.9 percent as Tiffany was able to raise prices to offset higher gold, diamond and platinum costs.
The company's shares were up 6.1 percent at $60.80 in trading before the market opened.
(Reporting by Phil Wahba, editing by Maureen Bavdek and Lisa Von Ahn)