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Blue Nile Sales Down
08-07-2011, 09:31 AM

Although not related directly to pearls, Blue Niles sales retreated. The most important part of this article to would be pearl jewelry shoppers is that gold prices and diamonds prices that are a big part of the pearl industry and pearl jewelry such as pearl necklace clasps are going up. Today, consumers are getting a great value if websites such as American Pearl have not changed their prices since the sharp rise.

As reported by Rapaport:

Blue Nile's net sales rose 5.1 percent year on year to $80.52 million during its second quarter that ended on July 3, 2011. Cost of sales rose 4.9 percent to $63.35 million and net income rose 1.2 percent to $2.84 million. Earnings per share were flat at 19-cents.

By region, Blue Nile's sales in the U.S. were flat at $67.72 million, based upon Rapaport News calculations. International sales, however, jumped 40.7 percent in dollar terms to $12.8 million, and the rate of growth was 29.7 percent at constant exchange rates.

Shares in Blue Nile closed 8 percent lower today at $36.59, the lowest level since July 2009. In after hours trading, Blue Nile shares had lost another 3 percent.

Blue Nile closed the quarter with a cash balance of $74.2 million.

Diane Irvine, Blue Nile's chief executive, said that the second quarter results were a record, yet "results were impacted by rapidly rising diamond and metal prices amid a weakening consumer environment in the U.S.

''Despite these external headwinds, we achieved sales growth across all product categories, including double-digit sales growth in the non-engagement category,'' she continued. ''We also experienced strong growth in our international business. In addition, we generated higher gross margins for the quarter and achieved our earnings per share stated guidance while investing in marketing and our international business."

Blue Nile also announced that Mark Vadon will continue in his role as chairman of the board, but would no longer serve as executive chairman.

Vadon said, "I am excited about the opportunities that are ahead for Blue Nile. I look forward to my continued involvement in the next phase of Blue Nile's growth."

Blue Nile expects third quarter sales in the range of $71.5 million to $74 million compared with $67.5 million during third quarter 2010.
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