Pier 1 beats estimates despite weather

Despite a round of bad weather in the fourth quarter, Pier 1 Imports Inc. reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ expectations by 17 cents. The Fort Worth home furnishings retailer reported on April 10 adjusted earnings per share of 60 cents, which beat the Capital IQ consensus estimates of 43 cents. Revenue declined 6.5 percent year over year to $515.8 million, which still surpassed the estimate of $512.7 million.

Comparable store sales rose 2.4 percent, while gross profit was $745.6 million, or 42.1 percent of sales. The company repurchased $203.9 million of shares in fiscal 2014 and distributed $21.7 million to shareholders through quarterly cash dividends. For the upcoming fiscal year, Pier 1 forecasts guidance of $1.16 to $1.24 per share, in line with the consensus estimate of $1.24 per share. The company also expects comparable store sales growth in the mid single-digit range and earnings per share growth of 15 to 23 percent.

Alex W. Smith, president and chief executive officer, said the company is in its best shape strategically it has ever been and believes it is well positioned to regain momentum. “We have a strong track record of delivering growth and shareholder value,” Smith said. “We are highly confident that we have the right plans, infrastructure and talent to drive sales, improve profitability and capture market share in our new fiscal year.” The company also says it remains on track to achieve e-commerce sales representing at least 10 percent of total sales by the end of fiscal 2016. –Betty Dillard