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Tiffany & Company (TIF - Analyst Report), an S&P 500 company, is slated to report its fourth-quarter fiscal 2012 results before the market opens on Mar 22. In the last quarter it posted a negative surprise of 22.2%. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Growth Factors This Past Quarter

Tiffany posted lower-than-expected results in the last quarter. The disappointing results were due to shriveled gross margin and higher tax rate, apart from difficult year-over-year comparisons. The company is in an unfavorable position as the challenging economy and sluggish economic recovery in most of the countries, where it operates, is taking away sheen from this jewelry retailer.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Tiffany is likely to beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) and a Zacks Rank of #1, #2 or #3 for this to happen. This is not the case here as you will see below.

Negative Zacks ESP: ESP for Tiffany is -1.46%. This is because the Most Accurate Estimate stands at $1.35, while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $1.37.

Zacks Rank #4 (Sell): Tiffany’s Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) lowers the predictive power of ESP because the Zacks Rank #4 when combined with a negative ESP makes surprise prediction difficult. We caution against stocks with Zacks Ranks #4 and #5 (Sell rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions momentum.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other companies you may want to consider as our model shows they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Cabela's Incorporated (CAB - Analyst Report): Earnings ESP of +11.54% and Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy)

Lumber Liquidators Holdings, Inc. (LL - Snapshot Report): Earnings ESP of +2.33% and Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy)

Signet Jewelers Limited (SIG - Snapshot Report): Earnings ESP of +0.48% and Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)

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