Pier 1 Hustles To Spruce Itself Up

Value investor Mark Boyar rode the shares of housewares emporium Pier 1 Imports (PIR) all the way up from split-adjusted 3 in 1994 to 13 in mid-1997. He bailed out then, as the growth and momentum investors started rushing in, cheered by the rapid rise in Pier 1's comparable-store sales. Boyar felt that the company had no room for even a slight earnings shortfall with such a pack of big growth players. True enough, they bailed out fast when Pier 1--with 735 stores in the U.S. and an additional 74 abroad--posted disappointing earnings early in 1998, pulling the stock back down to 8. Enter Boyar as the stock slumped to 6 (BW--Nov. 1).

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