In a rough environment for luxury retailers, Tiffany shines in the first quarter



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NEW YORK — Tiffany overcame a strong dollar and while sales slid, the luxury retailer fared much better than many had expected in the first quarter.

Shares jumped more than 11 percent in early trading Wednesday.

There was also encouraging sales growth in key regions when adjusted for currency fluctuations.

Sales grew 3 percent in the Americas, 4 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, and 21 percent in Europe. Sales at stores open at least a year was positive in the Americas and in the Asia-Pacific region as well.

Tiffany's profit was $104.9 million, or 81 cents per share, down from $124.6 million, or 97 cents per share a year ago. That's still a lot better than the per-share earnings of 69 cents per share that analysts had projected, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue, under pressure from the strong dollar and weak sales in Japan fell to $962.4 million from $1.01 billion. Yet that too, topped Wall Street expectations.

The company expects full-year earnings to be $4.20 per share, topping estimates of $4.17 per share by Factset.

The company plans to expand its existing jewelry collections within the next year.

"Despite these plans and the better-than-expected first quarter results, our forecast for minimal earnings growth for the full year continues to reflect caution regarding our expectations for fiscal 2015 in light of the strong dollar and other global economic uncertainties.," said CEO Frederic Cumenal, in a printed statement.

Shares of Tiffany & Co. rose $9.78 to $95.31.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on TIF at http://www.zacks.com/ap/TIF

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Keywords: Tiffany, Earnings Report

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