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Pier 1 cuts Q2 loss, but withdraws guidance   

Fort Worth, Texas – Home furnishings specialty retailer Pier 1 Imports narrowed its second-quarter net loss to $30.2 million or 34 cents per share, about one-third better than the year-ago net loss of $43.4 million or 49 cents per share.

Quarterly sales of $320.5 million were down 6.9% from $344.6 million last year. Comp store sales fell 1.7%.

The second quarter showed improving trends. For example, sales for six months year-to-date were down 10.0% to $630.5 million, and comps year-to-date fell 3.9%.

Pier 1 emphasized that inventories are now running lower than forecast. Alex Smith, president and ceo, said the company enters the final months of the year expecting “to improve conversion rates and drive incremental traffic.” The company said its second half results “will depend on maintaining current traffic levels.”

However, “given the difficulties and uncertainties surrounding the macroeconomic environment,” Pier 1 said it will not provide guidance for the rest of the fiscal year, “and withdraws the previous guidance provided.”

Wall Street seemed to have no problem with this decision or the retailer’s results. While trading at about half the price of its 52-week high, Pier 1 stock nevertheless registered a mild uptick today on normal trading volume.

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