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Pier 1 Imports reports higher sales and profit, boosts its dividend

Pier 1 Imports reported slightly higher third-quarter profits today as total sales increased by 10.9 percent, and raised its dividend.

Net income was $23.7 million for the three months ended Nov. 24, up from $23 million in the same period a year ago. Total sales were $424.5 million, compared with $382.7 million last year, and comparable store sales -- at stores open at least a year, an industry benchmark -- increased 7.9 percent.

Pier 1 attributed the higher sales to increased store traffic and higher average purchases.

"This marks the company’s first full quarter of e-commerce sales and we’re pleased with the initial results, as the level of both new and existing customer visits indicates the long-term opportunity is significant," said Alex W. Smith, president and chief executive officer.

The Fort Worth-based home furnishings retailer said that gross profit as a percentage of sales rose 70 basis points to 43.9 percent, and operating income increased by 18 percent.

The board of direrctors authorized a new $100 million share repurchase program, and increased the  quarterly cash dividend by 25 percent to 5 cents per share.

-- Steve Kaskovich



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