Pier 1 Imports Inc. (PIR) stock has fallen over 82% in the past year and there are just a few days left for the home furnishings retailer to receive the non-compliance notice from the NYSE as the stock is below $1. Investors remained concerned about the declining margins but they believe the stock could be a good investment.
Majority of the analysts recommended a “hold” rating on the stock. Wall Street analysts covering the stock expect it to reach $0.81 in the next 52 weeks. They believe that the stock could struggle in the near term due to the miss of executive chief after the departure of Alasdair James as CEO.
The company has appointed a longtime board member Cheryl Bachelder as interim CEO during mid-December. But investors concerns have been rising due to the retailer’s step in considering strategic alternatives, including a potential sale. Traders were unsatisfied with the company’s new chief and its recent third-quarter results.
In the recent third quarter, the company’s results slipped to a loss from a profit last year, due to a double-digit dip in revenues. The bottom line was also negatively impacted by charges related to establishing a valuation allowance against certain deferred tax assets. Net sales plunged 11.9% due to a 10.5% decrease in comparable store sales as well as a decline in store count.
The ‘New Day’ strategic plan is yet to yield the desired results. The flawed execution of the plan has hurt the earnings performance in the recent quarters. Despite this, the company has unveiled plans to embark on an aggressive cost reduction program that will yield results beginning 2020. The company lowered capital spending plans for fiscal 2019, bringing its planned capital expenditures down by $20 million to $40 million. The company has taken proactive steps to improve profitability and cash flow.
Investors believed the company could return to profitability and the stock would spike upwards to reach a high of $7.50 within nine months. This is based on the company’s expectations that new products would begin flowing into the business in the fourth quarter and therefore expecting higher inventories by year-end. Also, capital expenditures are anticipated to be further reduced in fiscal 2020, according to Pier 1 Imports earnings call.
Another concern that the company faces is store traffic as traffic continues to be one of its big drivers, which could turn Pier 1 Imports to profitability. Going forward, the company is reviewing how to reach its core customer and draw them more frequently to their stores. Pier 1 Imports is expected to seek the assistance of marketing mix optimization for driving the traffic with the aid of digitalization.
Analysts expect the company to report a loss of $0.20 per share on revenue of $429.91 million for the fourth quarter, and a loss of $1.60 per share on revenue of $1.57 billion for fiscal 2019. They fear the recovery process could take more than a year.
The market experts believe that the stock could turn to trade on the Over the Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) or Pink Sheets. Investors are worried that if this happens then bankruptcy is around the corner for the company but there remained a rare chance of this. The road is tough for the company to turn profitable and come out from the non-compliance of NYSE listing requirements.
Shares of Pier 1 Imports opened lower on Thursday and is trading in the red territory. The stock has fallen over 96% in the past five years and over 55% in the past three months.
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