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Tiffany Profit Drops in 4Q

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New York City Tiffany & Co. on Monday said its fourth-quarter earnings fell almost 16%, but adjusted results beat analyst expectations on strong international results.

Tiffany earned $118.3 million in the quarter ended Jan. 31, down from $140.5 million a year ago.

Revenue rose to $1.05 billion from $958.9 million last year, matching analysts' predictions.

U.S. retail sales rose 4% to $527.9 million, while same-store sales fell 1%. International retail sales rose 21% to $422.6 million, while same-store sales rose 6%.

For the year, net income rose 20% to $303.8 million from $253.9 million last year. Revenue rose 15% to $2.94 billion from $2.56 billion last year.

The company said it remains "cautious" about the U.S. environment in 2008, but expects robust growth elsewhere in the world.

Tiffany predicts sales will rise about 10%, implying sales of $3.23 billion. Analysts expect revenue of $3.18 billion. It expects a "slight decline" in U.S. same-store sales for the year.

Also, Tiffany said that beginning in the first quarter of 2008 it will stop valuing the "last-in-first-out" inventory accounting method, which assumes products acquired last are the ones sold or disposed of first, and begin using an average cost method, which values the cost of inventory is based on the average cost of goods.

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