Why Pier 1 Imports Inc Shares Got Pummeled

The embattled retailer's struggles continue. But is a turnaround finally in store?

Brian D. Pacampara, CFA
Brian D. Pacampara, CFA
Dec 17, 2015 at 12:03PM
Consumer Goods

What: Shares of home furnishings retailer Pier 1 Imports (NYSE:PIR) were down 19% at 11 a.m. EST Thursday after its quarterly results and outlook missed Wall Street expectations.

So what: Pier 1 shares have been walloped over the past year on a string of disappointing quarters, and today's Q3 results -- net income of $10.9 million on a sales drop -- coupled with downbeat full-year guidance only reinforce that negative trend. In fact, comparable store-sales slipped 0.7% while operating margin fell 220 basis points, suggesting that the Fort Worth-based company's inventory struggles and competitive environment are only becoming more intense.

Now what: Management now sees full-year EPS of $0.42 to $0.46, well below its September view of $0.56 to $0.64. "We remain confident in our '1 Pier 1' omni-channel strategy, particularly as the retail climate continues to undergo dynamic changes," said President and CEO Alex Smith. "Our teams are focused on reducing inventories, improving promotional effectiveness and driving efficiency in our distribution network, as well as tactical strategies to strengthen customer engagement and attract new customers to the brand." Given Pier 1's alarming sales trend, shaky competitive position, and hefty debt load, however, I wouldn't be too quick to buy into that turnaround talk.