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Jay McIntosh

Pier 1 sales climb 8.3% in 2Q

FORT WORTH, Texas - An 8.3% sales gains and a sharply improved gross margin led to soaring profits for retailer Pier 1 Imports in the fiscal second quarter ended Aug. 25.
     Sales of $367.6 million were up from $339.6 million a year earlier, the result of increased store traffic and a higher average ticket, the Fort Worth-based company reported.
     Profits of $26.2 million or 24 cents per share were up 57.7% from the same period a year earlier, although part of the gain stemmed from a one-time tax benefit. Excluding that benefit and adjusting for a normal tax rate, earnings would be $20.7 million or 19 cents per share - still up about 24% in dollars and 36% on a per share basis.
     Alex Smith, president and CEO, said this was the company's 12th consecutive quarter of same-store sales gains and profit growth. Same-store sales were up 6.7% from a year ago, on top of a 10.8% gain a year earlier. Compared with three years ago, same store sales have grown 28.7%, the company said.
     "Our sound strategies and focus on flawless execution ideally position the company to achieve continued growth and long-term success. Now, with the recent launch of the new e-commerce enabled Pier1.com, we have two powerful growth vehicles - our enhanced portfolio of 1,058 Pier 1 Imports stores and our new online business," Smith said.
     Gross profit was 41.2% of sales for the quarter, up 1.6 percentage points from a year earlier.
     For the first half of the fiscal year, sales of $728.7 million were up 8.1% from the same period last year, with a 7% gain in same-store sales.
     Net income of $44.1 million or 40 cents per share was up 43.3%. Adjusted to exclude the tax benefit, earnings would have been $30.7 million or 26 cents per share, a gain of about 26%.
     The company also raised its profit forecast, saying it now expects earnings per share of $1.15 to $1.21 for the year, or adjusted earnings of $1.10 to $1.16 per share on a 52-week basis. That is up from the prior guidance of $1.08 to $1.14 on an adjusted basis.

Pier 1 Imports

Earnings per share are fully diluted, and all figures in parentheses are losses or declines.

Quarter ended 8/25

2012

2011

Change

Sales

$367,615,000

$339,552,000

8.3%

Operating income

39,528,000

28,769,000

37.4%

Net income

26,231,000

16,638,000

57.7%

Earnings per share (a)

0.24

0.14

71.4%

6 months ended 8/25

2012

2011

Change

Sales

$728,734,000

$674,155,000

8.1%

Operating income

73,472,000

53,686,000

36.9%

Net income

44,056,000

30,737,000

43.3%

Earnings per share (a)

0.40

0.26

53.8%

(a) Based on average shares outstanding of 107.5 million in the 2012 quarter, 117.1 million in the 2011 quarter, 109.2 million in the 2012 six months and 118.3 million in the 2011 six months.

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