Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Pier 1 Salvages Holiday Season With Heavy Discounting

Pier 1 Imports Inc. shares rose the most in more than six years after holiday sales exceeded the retailer’s predictions, helped by promotions and deep discounting.

Though same-store sales fell 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter, Pier 1 had projected a decline of as much as 4 percent. Earnings, meanwhile, were 18 cents to 22 cents a share in the period, in line with its forecast, the company said in a preliminary report on Monday.

The stock jumped 29 percent to $7.08 in New York, the biggest single-day gain since April 2009. The shares had been up 7.7 percent this year through the end of last week.

The results brought relief to investors bracing for weak holiday results. The Fort Worth, Texas-based company cut its forecast in December after a slow start to the Christmas shopping season. At the time, Chief Executive Officer Alex W. Smith cited a decline in “casual” shoppers -- consumers who come into stores and make unplanned purchases.

Clearance sales and other promotions ultimately helped get customers in the door over the holidays, Smith said in Monday’s statement. The company also is focused on cutting costs, he said. Pier 1, which sells furniture and home accents, will deliver its complete fourth-quarter results next month.

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