Strong sales in Japan helped lift quarterly sales and profit at the upscale jeweler. Fred Katayama reports.
Quarterly profit and sales sparkled at Tiffany, rising and easily beating analysts' expectations. Driving those results: an increase in wholesale sales of diamonds and strong demand in Japan where sales at existing stores rose 3 percent. Japan accounts for 15 percent of the company's revenue and margins there are high. The upscale retailer also benefited from sales of fashion and jewelry like its pricey Tiffany T collection. The solid results in Japan offset weakness in its largest market, the Americas. Comparable sales fell 1 percent partly because tourists spent less. Tiffany has been have a hard time boosting sales of cheaper silver jewelry. Bruderman Brothers' Oliver Pursche. SOUNDBITE: OLIVER PURSCHE, CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST, BRUDERMAN BROTHERS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "In the case of Tiffany's, we think there's some significant international expansion opportunity. There's an opportunity to improve their online presence for their lower end or middle market offerings. And an opportunity to close some of their underperforming stores." Tiffany shares falling Thursday afternoon, chipping in to their nearly 15 percent gain this year.