Tiffany & co. offered guidance for the fourth quarter on Thursday, saying it expects a mid-single digit percentage decline in sales compared with the year-earlier period and a mid-single digit percentage increase in operating earnings. The jewelry company expects per-share earnings to rise by a mid-to-high single digit percentage. The current FactSet consensus of $1.73 is a 3.6% increase from last year’s number. “While we still expect full-year results to be substantially impacted by COVID-19, we are very pleased with the way the business has rebounded following the first quarter and continues to rebound in the third quarter, especially in Mainland China, and to recover in the United States,” Chief Executive Alessandro Bogliolo said in a statement. Worldwide sales fell slightly in the two-month period of August and September, while operating earnings rose about 25%. Positive sales trends have continued in October, said the statement. E-commerce sales remain strong and nearly doubled in the two-month period, accounting for 13% of total sales year-to-date through September 30. E-commerce sales typically account for about 6% of total sales. Despite a steep decline in tourism in the U.S., sales three fell by a low double-digit percentage in the two months. “This represents a meaningful sequential improvement since May 2020 to sales declines in the United States each month relative to the same month of the prior year, and the company expects the sales trends in the United States to further improve in the fourth quarter,” said the statement. Tiffany has more than $1 billion cash and expects to have about $900 million at year-end. Shares were up 0.8% premarket but have fallen 11% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 8%.
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