Pier 1 Imports Falls to 12-Month Low After Weak Q2, Lowered Outlook

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of home furnishings retailer Pier 1 Imports  (PIR) hit a 12-month low after the company's second quarter results fell below analysts' consensus estimates and it reduced its fiscal 2015 earnings per share outlook.

WHAT'S NEW: Pier 1 Imports reported Q2 EPS of 10c on revenue of $418.6M, missing analysts' consensus estimates of 14c and $426.02M, respectively. Same-store-sales for the quarter were up 4.5%. The retailer lowered its FY15 EPS outlook to 95c-$1.05 from $1.14-$1.22. Analysts' consensus estimates for FY15 EPS prior to the earnings report was $1.13. The company sees FY15 SSS in the mid-to-high single digits and gross profit, as a percentage of sales, are expected to be 40.5%-41.5%. Pier 1 Imports CEO Alex Smith said that he foresees online sales to surpass $400M in 2016.

WHAT'S NOTABLE: During the company's conference call, Pier 1 Imports said that it expects to see improving merchandise margins in coming quarters with fewer coupons. The company noted plans to continue returning cash to shareholders in the form of dividends and share buybacks.

ANALYST REACTION: This morning, Wells Fargo analyst Matt Neemer downgraded Pier 1 Imports to Market Perform from Outperform. He feels that the stock will be a difficult one to own in the medium term as the retailer moves towards a multi-channel approach. Neemer believes that the company has a difficult journey ahead as it cuts broad-based discounters, and he feels that consumers will take time to get accustomed to the new messaging. He cut his price target range to $15-$16 from $19-$20 for the company. Barclays analyst Alan Rifkin downgraded Pier 1 Imports to Equal Weight from Overweight due to slow revenue growth and heightened promotions. He feels that that the "soft" revenues could continue. He believes that the company's elongated online profitability pipeline and increased promotions are certain to be a burden on the business in ways that the company had not initially thought. Rifkin said that growing the top line will be even harder in the absence of promotions. He reduced his price target for shares to $14 from $18. Argus analyst Christopher Graja downgraded Pier 1 Imports to Hold from Buy due to the company's lower than anticipated Q2 earnings. He feels that in terms of the home furnishings market, companies such as Williams-Sonoma (WSM) , Home Depot (HD) and Lowe's (LOW) are more "resilient" for shareholders. Pier 1 Imports was also downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T and to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer this morning.

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