Company Snapshot: Pier 1 Imports Inc.
Turmoil in Finance at Pier 1
100 Pier 1 Place
Fort Worth, Texas 76102-2600
Total Annual Sales
Alexander W. Smith: President, CEO
Jeffrey N. Boyer: Executive VP, CFO
This past February, Pier 1 Imports was hit with a bombshell. Oppenheimer downgraded the company rating to ‘perform’ from ‘outperform’, after the retailer surprisingly lowered its fourth quarter guidance. Company shares fell by just under a third of its prior value to $11.40, in pre-market trading. Oppenheimer analysts also lowered their fiscal 2014 and 2015 estimates for the company. This activity occurred despite four years of consecutive corporate increases in annual revenue.
The company’s disappointing fiscal performance was blamed on unreasonably upbeat expectations which the company had issued earlier. Then CFO Charles Turner shook Wall Street by suddenly announcing his retirement. Laura Coffey, a 17-year company veteran was quickly installed as interim CFO.
In early April, in a press release accompanying the issuance of the company’s annual financials, CEO Alex Smith notably cooled expectations for the coming year. His statement featured an announced expected closing of approximately 100 stores over the next three years. This was stated as a move to cut costs and expenses down the road. Closings are expected to focus on natural closures as leases expire, and relocations based on demographic real estate decisions.
On June 30, the company named longtime financial veteran Jeffrey N. Boyer as Executive VP and CFO, effective as of July 27. Mr. Boyer came from Tuesday Morning, where in just less than two years he resolved a similar situation, where a company’s stock suffered sharp declines, under financials which brought in serious questions of corporate underperformance.