Retail

Pier 1 Stumbles Over Earnings and Guidance

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Pier 1 Imports, Inc. (NYSE: PIR) reported fiscal first-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Wednesday. The company said that it had a net loss of $0.07 per share on $418.37 million in revenue. There are consensus estimates that are calling for a net loss of $0.05 per share on $420.05 million in revenue. The same period from last year had $0.08 in earnings per share (EPS) on $432 million in revenue.

In the report, the board of directors declared a $0.07 per share dividend on all outstanding shares of common stock, which will be paid on August 3, for all shareholders of record on July 20.

In terms of guidance for the fiscal second quarter, the company expects net sales to shrink by 1% to 3%; for  a net loss of at least $0.06 per share; and at most no earnings. There are consensus estimates calling for no earnings on $429.5 million in revenue for the coming quarter.

On the books, cash and cash equivalents totaled $122.49 million at the end of the quarter, versus $65.94 million at the end of the same period last year.

Alex W. Smith, President and CEO, commented:

Our first quarter sales were not as strong as we would have liked. Although many of our merchandise categories performed satisfactorily, outdoor furniture was affected by internal and external pressures, including competitive pricing. At the same time, the headwind of a challenging store traffic environment remains.

Smith added:

From a merchandise margin perspective, promotional discounts were essentially in line with our plan, but we made the strategic decision to accelerate our clearance activity to ensure clean inventory. We expect to generate merchandise margin improvement in subsequent quarters and have left our guidance with respect to merchandise margin unchanged for full year fiscal 2017.

Shares of Pier 1 Imports closed up 4% at $5.44, with a consensus analyst price target of $6.10 and a 52-week trading range of $3.76 to $13.28. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was down 4.8% at $5.18 in the after-hours trading session.

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