Pier 1 reports 4Q profit; plans to close some stores

FORT WORTH (AP) _ Pier 1 Imports Inc. (PIR) on Wednesday reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $33.1 million.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based company said it had profit of 37 cents per share.

The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 36 cents per share.

The company plans to close approximately 100 stores over the next three years, primarily through natural lease expirations and relocations.

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Laura Coffey, executive vice president and interim CFO, said, “[A]s the dynamic between stores and e-Commerce continues to evolve, we plan to selectively take advantage of natural lease expirations to reduce occupancy costs.”

The home decor company posted revenue of $543.6 million in the period, missing Street forecasts. Eight analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $545.2 million.

For the year, the company reported profit of $75.2 million, or 82 cents per share. Revenue was reported as $1.87 billion.

In a news release, Alex W. Smith, president and CEO, said: “Our omni-channel transformation is largely complete and from a brand strength and customer facing perspective we could not be more pleased with the results. However, fiscal 2015 clearly did not turn out as we had originally budgeted and we are very disappointed with the result. Our job now is to use the strength of the Pier 1 Imports brand and our investments in it to improve our profitability.”

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Pier 1 expects full-year earnings to be 83 cents to 87 cents per share.

Pier 1 shares have declined 18 percent since the beginning of the year. In the final minutes of trading on Wednesday, shares hit $12.65, a decline of 31 percent in the last 12 months. – Robert Francis of the Business Press contributed to this report.