Pier 1 shares up as holiday sales top guidance

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Pier 1 Imports Inc. shares were trading up today after the Fort Worth-based home furnishing retailer announced that holiday sales exceeded predictions, nudged along by promotions and deep discounting.

Total sales for the fourth quarter decreased approximately 1.3 percent, compared to the same period a year ago, and same-store sales were down 0.7 percent. However, the company had projected a same-store sales decline of as much as 4 percent. Earning are projected to be 18 cents to 22 cents a share in the fourth quarter, in line with the company’s forecast.

“Our preliminary top line results were slightly higher than our previous guidance and reflect positive customer response to our holiday and seasonal assortments, as well as increased promotional and clearance activity during the period,” said Alex W. Smith, president and CEO in the news release. “We made important progress bringing inventories in line during the second half of the year and ended fiscal 2016 with inventory levels down approximately 15 percent, which positions us to improve upon both our in-store merchandising and our supply chain execution going forward,” he said. “We’re also pleased with our ongoing cost containment efforts, which will continue to be a priority in fiscal 2017.”

Smith said the company will begin advertising on television in April to tout its spring lineup. The company will announce its full-year fiscal 2016 results on April 13.

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Pier 1 trades  under the symbol PIR on the NYSE. 

Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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