Girls may love Tiffany but analysts do not

What's Down: As one of the biggest jewellers in the world, Tiffany & Co, like the sparkly gems it sells, is many a girl's friend. But it has not been able to count as many analysts amongst its fans of late.

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As one of the world's biggest jewellers, Tiffany & Co, like the sparkling gems it sells, is many a girl's friend.

But it has not been able to count as many analysts among its fans of late.

Bank of America, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs have all lowered their fair-value price on the company's shares.

Tiffany announced its earnings results last Thursday, reporting 64 US cents earnings per share for the quarter, below analysts' consensus estimate of 70 cents.

The company also reduced its earnings expectations for the year, surprising some analysts. "For a luxury goods company like Tiffany, which generates more than 50 per cent of its profits in Q4, it is very surprising to see a profit warning so early in the year," said Antoine Belge, HSBC's head of consumer brands and retail equity research, in a note to clients.

Historically, most of Tiffany's profit warnings have occurred at the end of August or in late November, he said.

"So why a profit warning two months after giving an initial guidance [for the 2012 full year]? We believe the downgrade is driven primarily to slower-than-expected trends in the US and to a lesser extent in Asia," Mr Belge said.

Tiffany is turning to the Middle East to try to reverse its fortunes.

The New York jeweller recently ended a long-standing agreement with Damas International that will allow it regain control of the operations, marketing and sales functions of its brand in the Emirates. Damas will act as a local partner and legal entity for the brand.

Tiffany plans to increase its sales fivefold over the next three years in the Middle East as it invests in new stores and products.

The brand has slowly been building its presence in the UAE, with the opening of an office in Dubai. Last month it also launched a new alloy made from a mix of copper, gold and silver.

The metal, called Rubedo, will be used in pieces including necklaces, rings and pendants.