This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Pier 1 Imports Plunges on Poor December Sales

Stocks in this article: PIR

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Pier 1 Imports (PIR - Get Report) plunged more than 12% on Thursday after the company blamed the "wintry weather" as the reason why sales were down 5.7% in December, its biggest selling month of the year.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based company said that comparable store sales for the five-week period ended Jan. 4 rose 1.3% from last year, but that positive number is a result of a shift in the 2013 calendar that added an extra week. Excluding that adjustment, Pier 1 said sales for December actually fell 5.7% compared with a rise of 8.2% a year earlier.

Pier 1 shares were sagging 12.3% to $20.44 on Thursday.

PIR ChartPIR data by YCharts

"We're extremely disappointed that December sales results came in well below our expectations, especially considering our holiday selling season kicked off with a record post-Thanksgiving weekend," CEO Alex Smith said in a statement on Thursday. "The disruption caused by wintry weather in the first half of December, which we discussed on our third quarter earnings call, continued to impact us throughout the balance of the month and into January."

"Store traffic in key markets was significantly affected by adverse weather in fiscal December, with the majority of the days concerned falling on our all-important weekends," Smith added. "Our holiday assortments were excellent and our execution both in-store and online was first class - making it all the more upsetting to have our results impacted by forces beyond our control. A strong balance of regular and promotional pricing, together with our customer engagement strategies, drove increased conversion and average ticket during the month, making the best of soft store traffic."

The company said stores in warmer weather locales, namely the Southeast, the Southwest and California, saw mid-single digit comparable-sales growth.

Smith also said that Web site traffic and sales conversion saw new monthly highs in December, averaging 2.2 million visitors per week in December.

Pier 1 issued fourth-quarter guidance. It expects sales growth in the low- to mid-single digits, yet comparable sales are expected to be flat for the quarter.

Not surprisingly it tempered earnings expectations to a range of 47 cents to 52 cents a share, down from previous guidance of 60 cents to 66 cents a share.

The company also said it expects full-year sales growth in the mid-to-high single digit range, comps of low-to-mid single digits and EPS between $1.07 and $1.12 a share, down from a range of $1.21 to $1.27.

"As frustrating as these results are for all of us, they have no bearing on the execution of our longer-term strategy," Smith said. "We remain confident that the opportunity for growth in both our Pier 1 Imports stores and e-commerce business is significant."

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,416.85 +225.48 1.31%
S&P 500 2,021.25 +19.09 0.95%
NASDAQ 4,683.4070 +45.4130 0.98%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs