NEW YORK (AP) — Tiffany & Co. boosted its full year-earnings forecast on Tuesday after posting a 16 percent increase in second-quarter profits on strong sales in China that offset sluggish growth in the U.S.
The upscale jewelry chain's shares rose more than 1 percent in morning trading.
The performance was a bright spot among a pile of disappointing earnings reports released in the past few weeks that have fed concerns over shoppers' willingness to spend — even among the affluent — heading into the winter holiday season. Many lowered expectations for the rest of the year.
Several upscale retailers, including Saks Inc., Ralph Lauren Corp. and Coach Inc., reported weak sales during the spring and early summer period. But Tiffany, which is considered a bellwether for the luxury market, gives hope that well-heeled shoppers are spending.
"Total sales growth met our objective due to solid performance in most regions, and with particular strength in our statement and fine jewelry product categories," said Michael J. Kowalski, chairman and CEO in a statement.
The company, which is known for its blue boxes, earned $106.8 million, or 83 cents per share, for the period ended July 31. A year earlier it earned $91.8 million, or 72 cents per share.
Revenue for the New York company increased 4 percent to $925.9 million from $886.6 million, helped by strong performances from its statement and fine jewelry products. Tiffany defines statement jewelry as pieces priced over $50,000.
Analysts polled by FactSet predicted lower earnings of 74 cents per share on higher revenue of $941.5 million.
Shares of Tiffany gained $1.04, to $82.71, in morning trading.
Asia-Pacific sales climbed 20 percent, led by strong results in China. European sales rose 11 percent, buoyed by strength in the U.K. and most of continental Europe.
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