Pier 1 reports year-end results, discusses new CEO

Pier 1

FORT WORTH (AP) _ Pier 1 Imports Inc. (PIR) on Wednesday reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $26.6 million.

On a per-share basis, the Fort Worth-based company said it had a profit of 33 cents. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were 34 cents per share.

The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 33 cents per share.

The home decor company posted revenue of $528.4 million in the period, which fell short of Street forecasts. Seven analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $530.8 million.

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Net sales decreased 2.6 percent as the average number of stores declined approximately 3 percent. Company comparable sales increased 0.2 percent. E-Commerce sales increased 28 percent as compared to the same period a year ago.

For the year, the company reported profit of $30.1 million, or 37 cents per share. Revenue was reported as $1.83 billion, a decrease of 3.4 percent from the same period last year.

Pier 1 expects full-year earnings to be 46 cents to 52 cents per share.

Earlier in April, Pier 1 named Alasdair James, 46, as president and CEO, starting May 1.

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James comes to Pier 1 from Sears Holdings, where he has been president of Kmart since 2014. He has 15 years of retail experience in the United States, the United Kingdom and China. He began his career in international marketing and account managing with PepsiCo, then did similar work at pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline PLC. He then joined British retailer Tesco PLC, where he was executive vice president and commercial director of Tesco China.

In a conference call following the earnings, interim CEO and board chairman Terry London discussed why the board chose James.

One key item the board considered was how James would fit into Pier 1’s culture at its Fort Worth headquarters,, London said.

James’ experience in Asia, where Pier 1 works with a lot of vendors, was also key, he said. “He was smart. He s aggressive, and in our judgment, he absolutely fits the culture of this company in a way that I don’t think we’re going to lose a step,” said London in a transcript of the conference call from Seeking Alpha (seekingalpha.com).

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Pier 1 shares have decreased 15 percent since the beginning of the year. In the final minutes of trading on Wednesday, shares hit $7.25, an increase of slightly more than 4 percent in the last 12 months. – Additional reporting from FWBP Staff