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Pier 1 losses widen, delisting possible

FORT WORTH — Fort Worth-based home furnishings retailer Pier 1 Imports faces being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange if its stock price doesn’t rise above $1 by mid-June, the company said this morning.

“As you know, our stock price has fallen to a level where we are below the continued listing standard for the NYSE,” Alex Smith, Pier 1’s president and chief executive, in a statement. “We have been and will continue to pro-actively work with the NYSE to maintain our NYSE listing. The board is cognizant of the need in these difficult times to maintain optimal liquidity.”

Smith said the board was notified Monday that it was not in compliance with the rule that the average closing share must not fall below $1 for 30 consecutive days.

Pier 1 said this morning, though, that its difficult times continued in the third quarter, which ended Nov. 29.The company reports a $36.9 million loss, or 41 cents a share, for the third quarter, compared to a $10 million loss, or 11 cents a share, for the same period last year.

Year-to-date, the company said it has a loss of $99.8 million, or $1.12 a share, compared to $109.7 million, or $1.25 a share, for last year.

Despite having more shoppers in its stores this month than they had in October and November, Smith said it will take the company the company a little longer to regain profitability.

Smith said company executives wanted the company to be profitable by fiscal 2010.

“Until August, we were well on our way,” Smith said. “This recession has obviously slowed our speed and increased our timeline.”

Same store sales, a more standard measure of a company’s strength, declined 9 percent for the first nine months, Pier 1 said.

In the third quarter, sales declined to $301 million from $374 million in the same quarter a year ago, the company reported.