Pier 1’s shares fall sharply on lower earnings

Posted Thursday, Sep. 19, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Pier 1 Imports shares dropped nearly 14 percent Thursday after the company missed its second-quarter earnings estimates and lowered its full-year profit guidance.

The Fort Worth retailer earned $17.8 million, or 17 cents per share, for the quarter ending Aug. 31, compared with $26.2 million, or 24 cents per share, for the same period last year. Wall Street’s consensus forecast was 21 cents per share.

Pier 1 cut its outlook for its current fiscal year to between $1.23 and $1.29 a share, or 5 to 10 percent growth over last year. That was down from its prior guidance of $1.27 to $1.32.

Pier 1’s shares (ticker: PIR) fell $3.27, or 13.9 percent, to $20.33 on more than 10 times its usual trading volume on the New York Stock Exchange.

CEO Alex Smith said the company’s second-quarter marketing initiatives “did not include appropriate messaging around clearance and promotional activity in our stores, or customer acquisition generally, which contributed to lower-than-expected store traffic. We should also have done a better job of flowing new product to the stores and reflecting those items in the floor set.”

The company continues to enjoy stronger online sales, which reached a record 5 percent of total sales in August, Smith said.

Sales at stores open at least a year rose 3 percent, while the profit margin slipped to 40.8 percent from 41.2 percent. Selling, general and administrative expense rose to 31 percent of sales, compared with 30.5 percent a year ago.

Total sales for the quarter rose to $395.6 million from $367.6 million.

Scott Nishimura, 817-390-7808 Twitter: @JScottNishimura

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