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From Home Furnishing Business

Pier 1 Eyes Better-Than-Expected Q4 Earnings

Pier 1 Imports (NYSE: PIR) said fiscal fourth-quarter sales declined about 2.6%, and the retailer said it expects to have earnings per share of 31 cents to 33 cents.

In a preliminary financial report, Pier 1 said e-commerce sales shot up 28% during the quarter ended Feb. 25, and represented about 19.5% of total sales. Company comparable sales, which include e-commerce, increased about 0.2% due to a lower store count.

The preliminary earnings per-share numbers are above the company’s earlier estimates of 26 cents to 30 cents.

“We are pleased with our preliminary fourth quarter financial results,” said Jeffrey Boyer, executive vice president and chief financial officer. “Our company comparable sales were in line with our previous guidance and reflect strong execution of our merchandising, marketing and promotional strategies.

“Improved effectiveness of our promotional and discounting initiatives along with a continuation of our supply chain efficiencies drove another quarter of significantly higher merchandise margin. At the same time, our ongoing cost containment and efficiency programs throughout the company resulted in better than expected operating expense performance.”

For the fiscal year ended Feb. 25, Pier 1 said sales were down about 3.4%, and earnings per share were expected to hit 35 cents to 37 cents, which would be above last fall’s projection of 30 cents to 34 cents.

Pier 1 is scheduled to release complete financial results for the quarter and fiscal year on April 12.



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