Tiffany shines in the first quarter

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Tiffany & Co.'s net income spiked 50 percent in the first-quarter as worldwide sales jumped by double digits and the company boosted prices.

Results beat expectations and the jeweler raised its earnings guidance for the year, sending shares up more than 6 percent before the opening bell Wednesday.

"This is an excellent and encouraging start to the year," said CEO Michael Kowalski.

Tiffany, known for its iconic turquoise gift boxes, reported that net income rose to $125.6 million, or 97 cents per share. That handily beat the 78 cents per share Wall Street was looking for and is up from $83.6 million, or 65 cents per share, last year.

Revenue climbed 13 percent to $1.01 billion from $885.5 million. Analysts expected $953.7 million. Revenue rose 8 percent to $439 million. In the Americas, Tiffany's largest market. Revenue rose 17 percent in Asia Pacific, 20 percent in Japan and 9 percent in Europe.

Revenue in stores open at least one year, a key retail metric, rose 11 percent.

Tiffany now expects full-year net income of $4.15 to $4.25 per share, up from $4.05 to $4.15 per share previously. Analysts had been projecting $4.19 per share. The company expects revenue to rise in the high single digit percentage range.

Shares rose $5.77 to $94 in premarket trading. While the stock is down about 5 percent since the beginning of the year, it's within striking distance of an all-time high and is up more than 12 percent over the past 52 weeks.