Pier 1 beats pack with strong 4Q
By Don Hogsett -- Home Textiles Today, 4/21/2003 12:00:00 AM
FORT WORTH, TX —
Bucking a soft economy and turning in another strong performance Pier 1 Imports Inc. put up a fourth-quarter profit of $54.0 million, up 10.2 percent from last year's $49.0 million.
Sales at the specialty home furnishings chain improved by 8.9 percent, rising to $521.0 million from $478.6 million the prior year. Same-store sales grew by 0.9 percent.
While its numbers are still more than respectable — and beating most of its retailing peers — they mark a dramatic slowdown from a blazing pace set earlier in 2002, before the long summer slide that affected most American retailers. During the second quarter, for example, profits jumped up 59.9 percent, sales advanced by 15.0 percent, and same-store sales improved by 5.8 percent.
Holding up the bottom line, average gross margin improved moderately, helping to offset somewhat higher costs. It widened by 40 basis points, to 44.7 percent, up from 44.3 percent last year. But acting as a drag, operating costs rose higher by 20 basis points, to 26.0 percent of sales from 25.8 percent the previous year.
With a remarkably clean balance sheet and low debt levels, Pier 1 actually made more on the money it put in the bank than the interest it paid on its debt. Interest income totaled $884,000, while interest expense amounted to $558,000.
Pier 1 Imports Inc.
|Qtr. 3/1 (x000)||2003||2002||% change|
|a-Earnings in the fourth quarter include $884,000 in investment income, compared with $999,000 during the same period a year ago.
b-12-month results include $3,0 million in investment income vs. $2.5 million the preceding year.
|Oper. income (EBIT)||85,438||77,408||10.4|
|Per share (diluted)||0.57||0.51||11.8|
|Average gross margin||44.7%||44.3%||—|
|Oper. income (EBIT)||204,654||158,813||28.9|
|Per share (diluted)||1.36||1.04||—|
|Average gross margin||42.9%||42.0%||—|
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