(Bloomberg) -- Signet Jewelers Ltd. surged as much as 25% in early trading Thursday after raising its outlook for full-year profit and sales on stronger holiday results.

  • The jewelry seller now sees comparable sales -- a key retail metric -- growing 0.1% for the current fiscal year, which ends early February. That’s an improvement from the previous forecast for a decline of 1% to 1.7%. Signet also raised its earnings per share estimate for the year. See more details here.

Key Insights

  • A number of store chains have posted weaker-than-expected holiday sales, causing share declines at some specialty chains and department stores. Signet’s results, however, powered by healthy growth at its Zales brand, suggest that consumers were still willing to spend.
  • The success is relative -- Signet has reported mostly negative comparable sales in recent years and this year they’ll remain stagnant. But the owner of Kay, Piercing Pagoda and other brands seems to have stabilized in recent months as the company brought costs under control and became more disciplined with inventory management.
  • Online jewelry retailer James Allen posted holiday comparable sales growth of almost 27% -- a sign that Signet’s online strategy is gaining steam. Piercing Pagoda also remains an important growth area for Signet.

Market Reaction

  • Signet shares were up 23% to $26.49 at 7:56 a.m. in New York. The company has posted annual declines in stock value since 2015.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Roeder in Chicago at jroeder@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Sally Bakewell at sbakewell1@bloomberg.net, Cécile Daurat

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