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Pier 1 fiscal 4Q profit falls 46 pct

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Pier 1's fourth-quarter earnings sank 46 percent compared with last year, when the retailer logged a huge, one-time tax benefit.

The company earned $61.7 million, or 58 cents per share, in the three months that ended March 2. That compares with earnings of $115.2 million, or $1.04 per share, in last year's quarter. Adjusted earnings totaled 60 cents per share.

Revenue climbed 16 percent to $551.6 million.

Analysts expected, on average, earnings of 60 cents per share on $553 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Shares of Pier 1 Imports Inc., based in Fort Worth, Texas, fell 3.6 percent, or 84 cents, to $22.50 Thursday before markets opened.

The company recorded a $33.8 million gain in last year's quarter from an income tax benefit but had to set aside a $37.9 million income tax provision in this year's quarter. Pier 1's gain from interest and investment income, among other things, also fell to $590,000 from nearly $4 million in last year's quarter.

Selling, general and administrative expenses climbed more than 9 percent to $145.5 million, but it was a smaller percentage of revenue compared to the 2012 quarter.

The company also said sales at stores open at least a year climbed 7.9 percent in the quarter. That compares to a 10.3 percent increase last year. This metric is a key indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes the volitility from stores recently opened or closed.

For the full year, Pier 1 earned $129.4 million, or $1.20 per share, on $1.7 billion in revenue.

For fiscal 2014, the company expects earnings to range between $1.26 and $1.31 per share.

Analysts expect, on average, earnings of $1.38 per share.