(By Balachander) Pier 1 Imports Inc. (NYSE: PIR), a retailer of decorative home furnishings and gifts, forecast a rise in earnings for the third quarter as comparable sales grew due to rise in store traffic and higher average ticket.
For the three months ended Nov. 24, the Fort Worth, Texas-based company expects non-GAAP earnings per share (EPS) and GAAP EPS of 25 cents and 22 cents, respectively. In the year-ago period, Pier 1 Imports earned 21 cents a share.
Total sales grew 10.9 percent to $425 million. Comparable store sales rose 7.9 percent versus a gain of 7.0 percent last year.
Excluding the impact of Hurricane Sandy, the company estimates that comparable store sales would have increased slightly over 9 percent.
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Wall Street analysts, on average, expected EPS of 25 cents on sales growth of 8.30 percent.
The company expects gross profit to expand to 43.9 percent of sales from 43.2 percent.
"We have had a terrific start to the holiday season, including a very strong Thanksgiving weekend, and believe the business is ideally positioned with a compelling merchandise assortment and multiple ways to shop the Pier 1 Imports brand, including both in-store and online," CEO Alex Smith said.
PIR shares ended Wednesday's regular trading session at $20.22. The stock has been trading in the 52-week range between $12.50 and $21.24.