NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Pier 1 Imports  (PIR - Get Report)  were dropping 16.46% to $4.01 in mid-morning trading on Thursday as the company posted weaker-than-expected preliminary fiscal 2017 second quarter results and was subsequently downgraded at several firms. 

The company also announced that CEO Alex Smith is stepping down at the end of 2016. 

After yesterday's closing bell, the Fort Worth-based home decor and furniture retailer reported a loss of 5 cents to 6 cents per share, while analysts projected a loss of 3 cents per share. 

Net sales for the quarter fell approximately 6.7% year-over-year, a wider decline than Wall Street's expectations of a 6% sales loss. 

Pier 1 posted earnings of 4 cents per share and a total sales increase of 2.7% during the same quarter last year. 

Comparable-store sales, including e-commerce, decreased about 4.3% during the fiscal 2017 second quarter. 

The company said "ongoing store traffic challenges" impacted its top-line results. 

As a result, Credit Suisse downgraded Pier 1 to "underperform" from "neutral" and lowered its price target to $4 from $4.50 based on its weak second quarter results and underperformance relative to its peers. 

Oppenheimer reduced Pier 1's stock rating to "perform" from "outperform" citing uncertainty following the announcement of Smith's departure and its second quarter sales. The firm removed its $6 price target. 

Additionally, Raymond James lowered the company's stock rating to "market perform" from "strong buy," adding that home furnishing sales continue to remain challenged, according to TheFly.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:

The team rates Pier 1 Imports as a Hold with a ratings score of C. The primary factors that have impacted the rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, it also finds weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: PIR

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