my bottom line on the stock
I no longer hold TIF. Great company, expensive stock (the current 22x fiscal 2013 eps is at the high end of the company’s historical PE range). Also, thematically, I’d prefer to get Consumer Discretionary exposure through firms that cater to average Americans, the segment where I think spreading economic rebound will bring the best year-on-year earnings gains, rather than the affluent.
TIF is an important bellwether
for how the wealthy, foreign tourists and China are feeling. So the results are well worth monitoring. All three groups appear to be starting to come out of their recent spending funk.
April quarter results
Tiffany reported 1Q13 (ended April) results before the bell yesterday. They were surprisingly good. Worldwide sales were up by 9%, yoy. Eps came in at $.70, also up 9% over the $.64 posted in the year-ago quarter.
The figures were massively better than the consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts, who had penciled in $.52 for the April period. This is also the first quarter in the past five where yoy earnings gains have been significant. And 1Q13 exceeded the previous high water mark for the first quarter of $.67 a share set in 2011. Good news.
all regions looking up
Here are TIF’s yoy sales gains by region:
US +6% in 1Q13 vs +2% in 4Q12
Asia Pacific +15% vs +13%
Japan +2% vs -6%
Europe +6% vs +3%
Total +9% in 1Q13 vs. +4% in 4Q12
a dividend increase
Two weeks before the earnings report TIF’s board increased the quarterly per share dividend from $.32 to $.34. On the one hand, the rise comes at the normal time of year for TIF. And the bump up is smaller than 2012’s. On the other, if we make the reasonable (to me, anyway) assumption that the board of directors is targeting a payout of 25% of cash flow and/or a third of profits, the dividend increase signals there’s still upside to the Wall Street consensus.
More important, the board is comfortable that business is improving.