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First Albany Says 'Buy' Tiffany & Co.

First Albany sees a buying opportunity for Tiffany & Co. (TIF).

Analyst Harry Ikenson says the retailer's results were outstanding in the U.S., with same-store sales up 16%, accelerating each month. The retailer's third-earnings per share of 19 cents met Wall Street's target. Results were below expectations in Japan, with silver jewelry being the weakest segment.

Despite the news, Ikenson says investors have already factored expectations of an earnings surprise and stronger results in Japan, into the stock price.

He notes the the third-quarter earnings per share is a penny below his estimate. Hence, he trimmed the $1.41 fiscal 2004 (Jan.) earnings per share estimate to $1.40, but raised the $1.65 fiscal 2005 estimate to $1.75. Ikenson believes Tiffany is well-positioned to benefit as the economy continues to recover and expand. He reiterates his buy rating and has a $53 target.

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