- The Washington Times - Monday, March 23, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - Jewelry retailer Tiffany says its profit tumbled more than 75 percent in the fourth quarter following a steep drop in sales over the key holiday season.

Its adjusted results beat Wall Street forecasts, but Tiffany is predicting 2009 earnings from continuing operations below Wall Street forecasts.

The retailer said Monday its earnings dropped to $31.1 million, or 25 cents per share, for the three months ended Jan. 31. That’s down from $127.4 million, or 96 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, the retailer says quarterly earnings totaled 85 cents.

Tiffany says sales dropped 20 percent to $841.2 million.

Thomson Reuters says analysts expected earnings of 80 cents per share on revenue of $838 million.

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