Pier 1 Weathers Q1 Nicely

For the first quarter ended June 1, Pier 1 Imports, Inc. reported net income of $20.3 million, or 19 cents per share, versus $17.8 million, or 16 cents per share, in the year-earlier period. Comparable store sales increased 5.9% from last year’s quarter, the company announced.

Increases in both store traffic and average ticket boosted first quarter comps, the company stated.

Wedbush Morgan analyst Joan Storms, in a research note, pointed out that Pier 1 earnings were in line with a consensus Wall Street estimate and comps just above as the company handled the unseasonal spring weather well. She said Pier 1 should continue to outpace its competition, as many of the driving forces that have propelled the company through its turn around remain robust. 

“The sales drivers are varied, but should all contribute, including a continuation of on-trend merchandise, improved allocation, store enhancements, layered marketing initiatives, new e-commerce, new rewards card provider ADS, new impulse items and shopping baskets, and new technology initiatives, such as new labor scheduling software and new POS,” she related.

Pier 1 total first quarter sales were $394.9 million, a 9.3% increase compared with the period a year ago, the retailer noted. Operating income for the first quarter increased 21.2% to $33.2 million, or 8.4% of sales, the company noted.

“Our results for the period, our 15th consecutive quarter of significant sales and profit growth, reflect a solid quarter of execution,” stated Alex Smith, Pier 1 president and CEO. “The continued improvement of our gross profit speaks to the success of our merchandising strategies, both in-store and online, and reflects strong full-price selling during the period. We also leveraged expenses, enabling us to deliver operating margins of 8.4% and earnings per share growth of 19%. We’re pleased with the ongoing progress we are making towards building out our multi-channel functionality and executing our ‘1 Pier 1’ vision. The rollout of our new point-of-sale system is on track for completion later this summer. We will then begin the integration of our stores and e-commerce businesses, laying the foundation to provide a seamless and significantly enhanced shopping experience for our customers.”