Tiffany's sales rose for the first time in eight quarters despite the negative impact of heavy security near its flagship store. Fred Katayama reports.
A sparkling surprise at Tiffany --- despite the negative impact of the heavy security around Trump Tower near its flagship store in Manhattan. The upscale jeweler snapped its eight quarter string of sales declines. Jewelry sold well. Strong growth in China and spending by Japanese consumers also helped lift global sales. Profit rose nearly 5 percent. Sales in the U.S. fell, but it was a smaller decline than earlier this year. Tiffany said traffic slowed at its Fifth Avenue store, where protests and road closures around President-elect Donald Trump's home nearby had what it called an "adverse effect." That store generates roughly one tenth of its worldwide sales. Helping offset that: a 13 percent spike in sales in Japan due to the dollar's weakening against the yen. Mizuho Securities USA analyst Betty Chen said, "With better-than-expected sales trends in the Americas and Japan, led by Japanese spending, we are hopeful the favorable currency environment will aid holiday spending." Tiffany shares zoomed higher at the start of trading. The company said it sees early signs of improvement in sales trends but said it's too early to call these results an inflection point.