Why Pier 1 Imports, Inc. Shares Dropped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Pier 1 Imports, (NYSE: PIR  ) were getting cast overboard today, falling 12% after the company gave a disappointing holiday sales update.

So what: The home-furnishings seller said comparable sales increased 1.3% in the five-week period ended January 4, 2014, lower than the company had hoped for, prompting it to cut its guidance for the quarter and the full year. Pier 1 said it now expects earnings of $0.47-$0.52 per share down from $0.60-$0.66 on flat same-store sales. Full-year EPS guidance was lowered by a similar amount to $1.07-$1.12.

Now what: Remarking on the slow holiday sales, CEO Alex Smith said, "We're extremely disappointed that December sales came in well below our expectations, especially considering our holiday selling season kicked off with a record post-Thanksgiving weekend." Smith blamed the shortfall partly on wintry weather, saying it put a dent in store traffic. Blaming the weather may seem like a cop-out, but Smith pointed out that sales were stronger in the Southeast and California. I wouldn't be too concerned about the holiday miss, as shares remain affordably priced, and the company figures to benefit from the recovery in the housing market.

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