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Larry Thomas

Pier 1 profits jump 13% in 4th quarter

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 drove 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 1.com continues to outperform our expectations," he said, noting that the quarterly results reflected increases 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 million repurchase effort. About $20.9 million worth of shares 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.

PIER 1 IMPORTS

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

Quarter ended 11/30

2013

2012

Change

Sales

$465,462,000

$424,527,000

9.6%

Operating income

53,013,000

47,015,000

12.8%

Net income

26,758,000

23,685,000

13.0%

Earnings per share

0.26

0.22

18.2%

9 months ended 11/30

   

Sales

$1,255,957,000

$1,153,260,000

8.9%

Operating income

133,831,000

120,485,000

11.1%

Net income

64,939,000

67,740,000

(4.1%)

Earnings per share

0.61

0.62

(1.6%)

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