Strong Asia Pacific sales help Tiffany in 3Q

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NEW YORK (AP) - Tiffany & Co.'s third-quarter net income climbed 50 percent, buoyed by strong sales in the Asia-Pacific region.

Its performance topped Wall Street's view, and the luxury retailer raised its full-year adjusted earnings forecast above analysts' estimates. Shares climbed almost 6 percent in premarket trading on Tuesday.

Tiffany's results come as the holiday shopping kicks off into high gear later this week. The jewelry chain is considered a barometer of luxury spending. The latest results show that the affluent continue to spend, bolstered by a stock market that is reaching new highs.

Chairman and CEO Michael Kowalski said in a statement that shoppers are responding well to its expanded fashion jewelry designs, which includes the Atlas collection.

He said that the company is also experiencing improved sales of fine and statement jewelry, with particular strength in its yellow diamond collection.

Tiffany earned $94.6 million, or 73 cents per share, for the three months ended Oct. 31. That compares with $63.2 million, or 49 cents per share, a year ago.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of 58 cents per share, on average.

Revenue for the New York company rose 7 percent to $911.5 million from $852.7 million, with Asia-Pacific sales up 27 percent. This topped the $888.4 million Wall Street predicted.

Sales in the Americas climbed 4 percent to $417 million, while European sales climbed 7 percent to $104 million. Sales in Japan fell 13 percent to $128 million, hurt by a weaker yen.

Revenue at stores open at least a year, a key indicator of a retailer's health, increased 7 percent. Analysts projected a 4.5 percent increase. This figure excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

Tiffany now foresees fiscal 2013 adjusted earnings of $3.65 to $3.75 per share. Its prior guidance was for $3.50 to $3.60 per share.

Analysts expect full-year earnings of $3.62 per share.

Tiffany's stock rose $4.82 to $85.81 in premarket trading about 2 hours before the stock market open. Its shares have risen more than 41 percent so far this year.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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