As the economy enjoyed a post-election bounce, Pier 1 Imports reported earnings and comparable sales gains, and the company announced who would serve as interim president and CEO when its serving chief executive departs on December 31.
For the third quarter ended November 26, Pier 1 posted net income of $13.6 million, or 17 cents per share, compared to $10.9 million, or 13 cents per share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted net income in the quarter, excluding the costs related to the departure of the company’s CEO and a related tax benefit, totaled $17.6 million, or 22 cents per share. Earnings per share exceeded a MarketBeat-published analyst average estimate of 13 cents per share.
Company comparable sales gained 1.8% in the quarter year over year, Pier 1 maintained, while net sales decreased 0.4% to $475.9 million. Operating income was $22.3 million versus $19.7 million in last year’s period. The company noted that e-commerce sales increased 28% to $97.4 million and represented about 20% of net sales.
Alex Smith, Pier 1’s departing president and CEO, stated, “Sales trends rebounded in the second half of November following the election, which enabled us to deliver third quarter results well ahead of our forecast. Specifically, we had positive company comparable sales and higher than planned profits in the third quarter. We are making progress on our strategies to deliver shareholder value through our merchandising, marketing, supply chain and real estate initiatives. Our seasonal assortments are resonating with customers, and we’re seeing strength across nearly all our product categories.”
As it released third quarter sales, Pier 1’s board of directors appointed Terry London, the company’s chairman, interim president and CEO, effective January 1, 2017.
London has served as the non-executive board chairman since 2012 and has been a Pier 1 director since 2003. Until July 2015, he was chairman of the board for London Broadcasting Co., which he founded in 2007 to identify and acquire media and entertainment companies. Pier 1 is in the midst of a previously announced executive search for a permanent president and CEO to replace Smith.