Boosted by a healthy jump in same-store sales and fewer promotions, Pier 1 Imports (NYSE:PIR) revealed an in-line 14% jump in fiscal first-quarter earnings on Thursday and upgraded its full-year profit targets.
Shares of the home-furnishings retailer ticked just slightly higher on the news amid a pullback in the broader markets.
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Pier 1 said it earned $20.3 million, or 19 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $17.8 million, or 16 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had been calling for a profit of 19 cents a share.
Sales jumped 9.3% to $394.9 million, matching the Street’s view of $395 million. Same-store sales rose 5.9% thanks to stronger store traffic and higher average tickets.
Gross margins expanded to 42.4% from 41.6%. Inventory rose 14.9% to $383.3 million at the end of the quarter.
“The continued improvement of our gross profit speaks to the success of our merchandising strategies, both in-store and online, and reflects strong full-price selling during the period,” CEO Alex Smith said in a statement.
Looking ahead, Pier 1 raised its full-year EPS guidance to a range of $1.27 to $1.32, up from $1.26 to $1.31 previously. The high end of the new range would only meet consensus calls from analysts for EPS of $1.32.
Management also said it still sees same-store sales growth in the mid-single-digit range.
Shares of Fort Worth, Tx.-based Pier 1 advanced 0.83% to $24.19 in premarket trading on Thursday, putting them on pace to slightly add to their 2013 rally of 20%.