Tiffany results rise, top expectations

NEW YORK - MARCH 22: People walk past the Tiffany & Co. flagship store on Fifth Avenue March 22, 2010 in New York City. Jeweler Tiffany & Co.'s fourth-quarter profit quadrupled, indicating wealthy customers may be spending more as the economy stabilizes. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) Mario Tama

NEW YORK Tiffany & Co. (TIF) says its first-quarter net income rose 3 percent as sales improved across all regions.

The results beat Wall Street expectations, and its shares rose more than 6 percent in premarket trading.

The high-end jewelry company known for its blue boxes earned $83.6 million, or 65 cents per share, for the period ended April 30. That's up from $81.5 million, or 64 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding costs tied to staff and occupancy cuts, earnings were 70 cents per share. This easily beat the 53 cents per share analyst expected.

Revenue for the New York company rose 10 percent to $895.5 million from $819.2 million, topping Wall Street's $855.7 million estimate.

Sales increased 9 percent globally to $895 million. The conversion of five Tiffany stores in the United Arab Emirates to company-run stores from independently-run stores in July helped other sales triple to $27 million. Sales for the Asia-Pacific region rose 15 percent to $223 million.

In the Americas, sales climbed 6 percent to $408 million. European sales also increased 6 percent to $93 million, while sales in Japan rose 2 percent to $145 million.

Its shares rose $4.89, or 6.4 percent, to $81.10 in premarket trading about two hours before the market opening.

For the second quarter, Tiffany anticipates earnings will be equal to the prior-year period's 72 cents per share. Analysts expect 79 cents per share.

But Tiffany reaffirmed its fiscal 2013 earnings forecast of $3.43 to $3.53 per share on Tuesday. Wall Street predicts $3.48 per share.

Chairman and CEO Michael Kowalski said in a statement that the chain was sticking with its guidance because of ongoing soft sales in the Americas and the weaker yen.

The company had 275 stores at quarter's end.

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