Tiffany Sparkles in Third Quarter, Shares Get Hammered 9%

Accelerating sales growth in the U.S. has helped luxe jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co (NYSE:TIF) post third quarter profits that surpassed analyst expectations and led to improved guidance for the full year profit forecast.

Net income rose 63% to $89.7 million (70 cents a share) compared to $55.1 million (43 cents a share) last year. Average analyst expectation was 61 cents a share. Profits were boosted as sales growth improved 17% (9% last year) primarily due to foreign tourists shopping at its New York store. Quarterly sales grew 21% to $821.8 million, handily beating analyst forecasts of $803.8 million.

The upbeat results have enabled the company to revise upwards its profit for the full year ending January 2012 to $3.80 a share from the previous forecast of $3.75.

“We are, of course, mindful of continued short-term economic challenges and uncertainties in some markets,” said Chief Executive Michael Kowalski. Apparently, that’s all the market cares about today because Tiffany & Co (NYSE:TIF) shares are down over 9%.