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Pier 1 Imports sales jump 9.6% in quarter

Record Thanksgiving weekend also drives 13% profit gain

FORT WORTH, Texas - Aided by a record-setting Thanksgiving weekend, retailer Pier 1 Imports said its profits jumped 13% in the quarter ended Nov. 30 on a sales increase of 9.6%.

The company said comparable-store sales rose 6.9%, giving it a three-year cumulative comparable-store increase of 21.8%.

"Our unique and special merchandise assortments created a well-positioned value offer that resonated with our customers," said Alex Smith, president and CEO. "Our more overtly promotional marketing stance drive strong traffic, and our store and e-commerce teams delivered on conversion."

Smith said the company set sales records for Black Friday and the post-Thanksgiving weekend.

Net sales for the quarter totaled $465.5 million, up from $424.6 million in the same quarter last year. Smith said the retailer's year-old e-commerce site accounted for about 4% of sales in the most recent quarter.

"Pier continues to outperform our expectations," he said, noting that the quarterly results reflected increase in traffic and conversion.

Net income was $26.8 million or 26 cents per share. That was up from $23.7 million or 22 cents per share in the comparable quarter.

For the nine months ended Nov. 30, sales totaled $1.26 billion, an increase of 8.9% from $1.15 billion in the first nine months of the previous fiscal year.

Nine-month net income was $64.9 million or 61 cents per share. That was a drop of 4.1% from $67.7 million or 62 cents per share in the comparable period.

During the third quarter, the retailer completed a $100 million stock repurchase program that was authorized in December 2012 and began a newly authorized $200 repurchase effort. About $20.9 million worth of share have been repurchased under the newest program.

Pier 1 also trimmed its earnings estimates for the fiscal year to $1.21 to $1.27 per share. That is down from a September estimate of $1.23 to $1.29 per share.

The company said it expects sales growth to be in the high single digits and comparable-store sales growth to be in the mid-single digits.



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