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Tiffany forecasts 2009 profit below expectations

Jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co. forecast fiscal 2009 earnings below Wall Street's expectations on Monday, after reporting that its profit tumbled more than 75 percent in the fourth quarter.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co. forecast fiscal 2009 earnings below Wall Street's expectations on Monday, after reporting that its profit tumbled more than 75 percent in the fourth quarter.

For fiscal 2009, Tiffany predicted earnings from continuing operations between $1.50 and $1.60 per share and a full-year sales decline of 11 percent.

For fiscal 2008, Tiffany reported sales of $2.86 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting earnings of $1.66 per share on revenue of $2.56 billion.

Tiffany noted that roughly 600 U.S. employees accepted an early retirement package during the quarter, which is expected to help save about $60 million before taxes this year.

The company will also cut capital expenditures by 33 percent to $100 million.

"We have not yet seen signs of an upturn in our business with worldwide sales in the quarter-to-date declining more than 20 percent, which is inline with our expectation, due to varying degrees of softness in all three regions," said Chairman and Chief Executive Michael J. Kowalski in a statement. "Our planning is based on the assumption that economic conditions will remain challenging throughout the year."

The CEO noted that Tiffany's plans for the year include product launches and 13 new store openings.