Thursday, 23 March 2023

Signet Jewelers (SIG) expects a challenging environment for the jewelry industry in FY2024

by Earn Media

Shares of Signet Jewelers Limited (NYSE: SIG) were up over 1% on Tuesday. The stock has gained 10% year-to-date and 12% over the past three months. The company saw its sales decline in the fourth quarter of 2023 due to several headwinds and it believes the jewelry industry will continue to face a challenging environment in fiscal year 2024.

Signet Jewelers (SIG) expects a challenging environment for the jewelry industry in FY2024

Quarterly performance

In the fourth quarter of 2023, Signet’s sales fell 5.2% year-over-year to $2.7 billion, negatively impacted by adverse weather conditions in the US during the peak selling period before Christmas, economic turmoil in the UK as well as geopolitical and inflationary headwinds. Same-store sales were down 9.1% in Q4. Adjusted EPS increased 10% YoY to $5.52. Despite the challenges, both the top and bottom line numbers beat expectations.

Bridal category trends

On its quarterly conference call, Signet elaborated on the trends it was seeing in the bridal category. The jewelry industry’s bridal segment is made up of two parts – engagements and weddings. After seeing a decline during the COVID-19 pandemic, weddings bounced back significantly in FY2023, reaching a 40-year high. This benefited Signet, which delivered strong growth in wedding bands and bridal jewelry.

Engagements, however, remained flat during COVID at pre-pandemic levels but dropped in the low double digits in FY2023 and is expected to decline again at the same level in FY2024. Signet expects FY2024 to be the “trough of engagements” before it sees a return to growth in FY2025 and then normalization in FY2026.

On its call, Signet attributed the reason for these shifts to the fact that engagements typically occur after around three years of dating and that COVID hindered dating through the most part of 2020. So as the company begins to lap that three-year period since COVID began, it expects engagements and engagement ring sales to see a recovery by the end of FY2024 and pick up over the next two years. All said, with roughly 2.8 million engagements and 2.2 million weddings each year, Signet is confident in the resilience of the bridal jewelry business.

Outlook

Looking into FY2024, Signet projects a decline in the mid-single digits for the US jewelry industry due to a combination of macroeconomic and industry-specific factors. Due to the slowing economy and ongoing inflation, the company does not expect a rebound in the lower price point customer. Taking these factors into account, Signet is guiding for revenues of $7.67-7.84 billion in FY2024. EPS for the full year is expected to be $11.07-11.59. For the first quarter of 2024, Signet expects revenue to range between $1.62-1.65 billion.

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The post Signet Jewelers (SIG) expects a challenging environment for the jewelry industry in FY2024 first appeared on AlphaStreet.

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