Another retailer is feeling the sting of war.
Pier 1 Imports
affirmed that it expects fourth-quarter earnings to beat analysts' consensus by a penny, but warned first-quarter and full-year 2004 earnings will come in below analysts' estimates due to the impact of the war.
The company expects to earn 57 cents a share in the fourth quarter ended March 1. That compares with fourth-quarter 2002 earnings of 51 cents a share. Analysts expect 56 cents a share, on average.
However, for the first quarter ending May 31, the company expects to earn 16 cents to 22 cents a share, below analysts' consensus estimate of 26 cents a share. First quarter comparable-store sales are expected to be down 4% to 8%, versus a comparable-store gain of 9.5% a year ago, the company said.
"Clearly, the war has had an impact on retail sales throughout our industry," said Marvin J. Girouard, chief executive of Pier 1. "The previous comp sales projection for March provided on March 6th was flat to -4%. This reflected our best assessment of the business at that time, and now current traffic patterns, conversion rates and sales for the first four weeks of the month reflect a soft retail climate."
Full year 2004 earnings are expected to be $1.44 to $1.50 a share; analysts expect $1.54, on average.
The company also expects same-store sales to fall 5% to 7% in the five week period ended April 5, compared with a same-store sales growth of 10.3% in the year-earlier period.
Shares of Forth Worth, Texas-based Pier 1 closed at $15.86 Monday on the
New York Stock Exchange