* Q3 rev $976.2 mln vs est of $957 mln
* Q3 EPS 80 cents vs est of 76 cents
* Q3 comp sales down 1 pct vs est of rise of 0.02 pct (Updates share price)
By Gayathree Ganesan
Nov 29 (Reuters) - Upscale jeweler Tiffany & Co topped estimates with results on Wednesday, citing higher demand for cheaper fashion jewelry and high-end diamond pendants and rings in the first full quarter under new Chief Executive Alessandro Bogliolo.
In the Americas, Tiffany reported a rise in comparable sales following six quarters of decline. Asia-Pacific same-store sales rose two percent mainly due to demand in mainland China.
That was offset by a dip in comparable sales in Europe and Japan, which prodded overall same-store sales numbers one percent lower and kept the company’s shares broadly flat on Wednesday after a 21 percent gain so far this year.
Tiffany‘s, whose diamond engagement rings were popular with baby boomers, has been diversifying its offerings, adding fashion jewelry such as silver alloy bracelets to its portfolio to cater to price-conscious millennials.
“The point is that Tiffany is trying something new and is grabbing the attention of shoppers,” GlobalData Retail’s Managing Director Neil Saunders said in an email on Wednesday.
Saunders said Tiffany’s greater emphasis on fashion and designer collections has pulled in younger consumers to its stores while its urban Tiffany HardWear range is also resonating with a wider audience.
Other initiatives the company has introduced to turnaround its North American business include a range of home accessories, launching a cafe in its New York flagship store and opening two pop-up shops in Manhattan.
Overall, Tiffany, known for its Robin egg blue boxes, boosted revenue by 3 percent to $976.2 million in the third quarter, while it increased its net income by 5.4 percent to $100.2 million, or 80 cents per share.
The one percent fall in overall comparable sales compared to analysts’ average expectation of a 0.02 percent growth, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Analysts on average had expected Tiffany to post a profit of 76 cents per share and revenue of $957 million.
The jeweler said it continues to expect sales to rise by low-single digits and earnings per share to grow in the mid-single digit percentage range for the full year.
Goldman Sachs analyst Lindsay Mann said the Black Friday weekend was relatively strong for luxury items, indicating that it could be a positive start for Tiffany in the holiday quarter.
Tiffany’s stock was just 0.25 percent lower at $93.63. (Reporting by Gayathree Ganesan and Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Shounak Dasgupta)