Shares of Pier 1 Imports Inc. plunged 16% in premarket trade Thursday after the stock was downgraded to underperform from neutral at Credit Suisse. The downgrade was based on Pier 1's weak second-quarter sales results, the analysts said, as well as the company's low position in the industry, potential margin challenges from increased promotional activity and the announced departure of Alex Smith, the company's chief executive. Shares of Pier 1 have fallen 20% in the past three months, compared to the S&P 500's gain of 3%.
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