viewPier 1 Imports Inc

Pier 1 tops views, increases dividend 25% 


Pier 1 Imports (NYSE:PIR) Thursday said profits edged up and revenues increased, helped by a 7.9 –per-cent jump in same store sales, and also increased its dividend.

The company also raised its full-year earnings per share (EPS) guidance to $1.17 to $1.21 from its previous view of $1.10 to $1.16. Analysts are calling for earnings of $1.17 per share.

Pier 1 also declared a quarterly cash dividend of five cents per share, reflecting a 25-per-cent increase from its previous dividend, to be paid on January 30, 2013 to shareholders of record on January 16, 2013. 

The global importer of decorative home furnishings and gifts said that for the quarter that ended November 24, net income came in at $23.7 million or 22 cents per share, compared to $23 million or 21 cents per share a year earlier.

Adjusted net income, which excludes the estimated impact of Hurricane Sandy, was $27.1 million or 25 cents per share per share.

Total revenue stood at $424.5 million, an increase of 10.9 per cent over $382.7 million in the year-ago quarter. 

Comparable store sales increased 7.9 per cent during quarter, helped mostly by increases in store traffic and higher average ticket, the company noted.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected per share earnings of 24 cents on revenues of $418.49 million.

“Our third quarter results represent the 13th consecutive period of growth in comparable store sales and earnings per share,” said president and CEO Alex W. Smith. 

“This marks the company’s first full quarter of e-Commerce sales and we’re pleased with the initial results, as the level of both new and existing customer visits indicates the long-term opportunity is significant. 

“Indeed, we saw very strong traffic at both our stores and Pier1.com during the period, and trends have remained robust thus far in the holiday selling season.”

Gross profit increased to 43.9 per cent from 43.2 per cent a year earlier.

As of the end of the quarter, Pier 1 said it remained in “strong financial condition”, with $120.8 million of cash and equivalents. 

Inventory totaled $417.5 million, up 13.5 per cent versus the year-ago period, mostly due to additional inventory for the its new e-Commerce business and slightly larger purchases of merchandise in select categories, including seasonal goods, to support higher sales. 

On Thursday, Pier 1 said its board has authorized a new $100 million share buyback program, effective immediately. 

Looking ahead, the company expects fourth quarter comparable store sales growth in the mid single-digit range, while non-adjusted earnings per share are projected to be in the range of 55 to 59 cents.

Adjusted earnings are anticipated between 57 to 61 cents. Analysts expect a profit of 58 cents.

Shares of the company were up 0.84 per cent as at about 12:30 p.m. EDT, trading at $19.24.


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