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Market Activity: Hermès, Condé Nast, Neiman Marcus, Tiffany & Co.

Hermès

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Hermès International SCA reported full-year earnings that beat analysts’ estimates, supported by sales of leather goods and demand in Japan.

Operating profit rose 19 percent to 1.54 billion euros ($1.7 billion) on an adjusted basis. Analysts predicted 1.52 billion euros, based on the average of 16 estimates.

Hermès is benefiting from two new production sites in France, which are boosting its supply of handbags and other leather goods. Earnings were also assisted by sales in Japan, which has seen an influx of Chinese tourists.

The company plans to raise prices about 3.5 percent this year in Europe, in line with production costs.

Hermès lowered its sales outlook for a second year in February, predicting currency-neutral growth at less than half the level of the start of this decade. China’s cooling economy, financial market volatility, and terror attacks in Europe are weighing on all brands. The company’s fourth-quarter revenue increase was the weakest in six years.

The operating margin was 31.8 percent. The company had estimated the 2015 operating margin would be close to 2014’s 31.5 percent because of adverse currency shifts. Hermès said it plans to pay a dividend at 3.35 euros a share.

The maker of 4,200-euro saddles is targeting revenue of 6 billion euros by 2020.

Condé Nast

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The Newhouse family, which owns Vogue publisher Condé Nast, is investing $200 million in a new fund that will target innovative media and technology companies.

Neiman Marcus

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Neiman Marcus Group Ltd. bonds surged after the department-store chain posted a smaller sales decline over the holidays than in the previous three months.

Same-store sales – a closely watched measure – fell 2.4 percent in the second quarter, which ended January 30th. The decrease by that measure was 5.6 percent in the previous quarter.

The department-store industry had a lackluster holiday season, and investors have been bracing for dismal results. Macy’s Inc., the market leader, posted a 4.8 percent same-store sales drop in its latest quarter. A warm winter contributed to the slump by hampering demand for coats and boots.

Neiman’s $960 million of 8 percent bonds coming due in 2021 jumped 11.5 cents to 87 cents on the dollar as of 9:27 a.m. in New York, according to Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Tiffany & Co.

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Tiffany & Co.’s sales fell 5.6 percent in the holiday quarter as a strong dollar hurt tourist spending at its stores in the United States and ate into revenue from other markets.

Sales at the jeweler’s stores open for at least a year fell 10 percent in the Americas region in the fourth quarter.

Its net income fell to $163.2 million, or $1.28 per share, in the quarter ended January 31st from $196.2 million, or $1.51 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell to $1.21 billion from $1.29 billion.

 

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