FINANCE

Tiffany raises forecast as profits surge 27%

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Tiffany & Co. reported a 27% gain in third-quarter profit, topping analysts’ estimates, as sales rose globally. The jewelry retailer raised its full-year earnings forecast.

Net income rose to $55.1 million, from $43.3 million in the year-ago period, better than analysts had expected.

Revenue climbed 14% to $681.7 million, topping estimates. Revenue in the United States, Canada and Latin America and South America, which accounts for about half of Tiffany’s business, rose 9%. Revenue rose 24% in the Asia-Pacific region, 22% in Europe and 12% in Japan.

Same-store sales rose 7% globally, and were up 8% in the Americas.

Tiffany is forecasting a strong holiday.

“We are now a few weeks into the all-important two-month holiday season and sales growth is exceeding our expectations, although the majority of the holiday season is certainly still ahead of us," said chief executive Michael Kowalski.

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FINANCE

American Eagle launches mobile gift cards

BY CSA STAFF

Pittsburgh — American Eagle Outfitters has launched a mobile gift-card program.

Gift-card senders choose from four holiday designs within each AEO brand — American Eagle Outfitters, aerie and 77kids, and can also add a personal message of up to 100 characters. The mobile gift card is texted to the recipient’s mobile phone, and can be used to shop online or in any of the company’s stores worldwide. An email message will also be sent to the recipient in case the text message is missed. When purchased through American Eagle’s Facebook pages, mobile gift-card buyers can choose to post a message on their wall.

The company has partnered with Transaction Wireless, a leading provider of virtual and mobile gift cards, to power its mobile gift card offerings. TW’s wGift technology platform enables the easy, safe purchase of virtual gift cards directly from any digital device, including any Internet-enabled cell phone. The platform is turnkey and completely scalable to help companies and brands keep up with the ever-changing mobile and social media landscape.

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FINANCE

Home Depot to offer free shipping for online orders

BY CSA STAFF

Atlanta — For the first time ever, Home Depot will offer free shipping on 90,000 of the 100,000 items it offers online beginning on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, and running through Monday. Eligible items will be shipped for free via standard ground shipping.

"We know shipping is a large influence on where customers shop," said Hal Lawton, president of e-commerce and The Home Depot. "We made some improvements and changes to the site over the last year and we thought this would be a great way to attract new customers to site."

In making the offer, the Home Depot joins many other retailers offering free shipping this holiday season.

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