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Tiffany & Co. saw third-quarter profit plunge 30%

November 29, 2012|By Shan Li
  • Shoppers aren't going as much for Tiffany & Co.'s iconic robin's egg blue boxes.
Shoppers aren't going as much for Tiffany & Co.'s iconic… (Tiffany & Co. )

Shoppers are passing on Tiffany & Co's iconic blue boxes.

The jewelry purveyor reported a plunge in third-quarter profit as continued economic uncertainty and high material costs hurt its bottom line.

For the third quarter ended Oct. 31, Tiffany reported profit of $63.2 million, or 49 cents per share, down nearly 30% compared to $89.7 million, or 70 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

The New York company, known for its finely crafted trinkets and immortalized in films such as "Breakfast at Tiffany's," also slashed its forecast for the year.

Chief Executive Michael J. Kowalski partly blamed the high cost of precious metals and diamonds, which cut into the company's margins.

"Three months ago, we had anticipated that third-quarter results would be affected by continued economic weakness in many markets as well as by challenging comparisons to last year when net sales were up 21% and net earnings had increased 52%," he said in a Thursday statement.

Kowalski added that global economic turmoil meant Tiffany remains cautious about its near-term prospects. But the company expects "improving results" during the holiday season because of new stores opening, innovative products and more targeted advertising.

Tiffany slashed its full earnings forecast to $3.20 to $3.40 per share, compared with the previous forecast of $3.55 to $3.70 per share.

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Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi

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