Tiffany Holiday Sales Fall Short as Tourists Scale Back Spending

(Bloomberg) -- Tiffany & Co.’s holiday performance came short of the luxury jeweler’s own expectations -- another sign that the Christmas season was not the smash hit that some hoped for in the U.S. retail sector.

  • Same-store sales, a key retail metric, were flat in the last two months of 2018, excluding the impact of foreign exchange, the company said, adding it had called for modest growth. Tiffany now sees fiscal 2018 earnings at the lower end of its previous outlook.

Key Insights

  • Investors might have already factored in the muted results from Tiffany, after the retailer warned about lower spending by tourists in November. The shares recouped early losses on Friday and now have risen as much as 2.7 percent in early trading.
  • The holiday shortfall was mainly due to lower sales to tourists, primarily from China, and softening demand in the U.S. and Europe. But mainland China Japan were bright spots.
  • The results reinforce an emerging narrative in U.S. retail. Forecasters entered the critical holiday period expecting one of the best Christmas seasons in recent memory, but after a strong Black Friday weekend, retailers including Macy’s Inc. and Signet Jewelers Ltd. reported traffic slowed.

Market Reaction

  • Shares dropped as low as $83 following Tiffany’s statement before erasing losses and rising to $87.16 as of 9:02 a.m. in New York.

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