All That Glitters Isn’t Silver for Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co. shares fell as much as 12.1 percent in premarket trading and ended the trading day down about 6% after the high-end jewelry company announced disappointing earnings today. Tiffany was forced to lower its fiscal-year sales and profit forecasts for the third consecutive quarter because of paltry quarterly sales of both its high-margin and less expensive jewelry, as well as a drop in Asian same-store sales.

Although sales at Tiffany’s flagship Fifth Avenue store were up 5 percent, the jeweler sold fewer item in the US overall, with most of the decline attributable to low-end silver jewelry, which is typically the company’s most profitable merchandise. Although sales of more expensive items actually increased, the retailer receives about 25 percent of its sales from less expensive jewelry.

People are waiting for more key periods like the holiday season to spend money on gifts,” Morningstar analyst Paul Swinard told Reuters.

Likewise, Tiffany gets about 25 percent of its total business from the emerging Asian market, which has been impacted by China’s economic slowdown. Sales at Asian stores open a year or longer, fell 4 percent. One year ago, the sales in the same market increased 36 percent. The company is still confident the Chinese market will rebound.

We remain confident that China will experience significant economic growth in the years ahead and the Chinese will continue to increase in importance as customers of Tiffany and other luxury good purveyors,” Tiffany vice president of investor relations Mark Aaron said during a conference call.

Tiffany now anticipates global net sales will rise between 5 and 6 percent in 2013, one percent less than its more recent forecast.

The newly-projected annual profit of $3.20 to $3.40 per share has been adjusted downward from the previously forecast $3.55 to $3.70.

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