U.S. Markets closed

Pier 1 forecasts higher 3Q profit despite Sandy

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Pier 1 Imports Inc. said Thursday that it expects profit in its fiscal third quarter to rise from a year ago despite store closings after Superstorm Sandy, as more customers visited stores and also spent more.

The home decor company said that revenue at stores open at least a year rose 7.9 percent in the three months through Nov. 24, or more than 9 percent when stripping out Sandy's effect. That's a key measure for retailers that tracks established stores and excludes newly opened or closed locations. The company also said that the critical holiday shopping season got off to a strong start, including over Thanksgiving weekend.

The Fort Worth, Texas, company forecast profit of 22 cents per share in the September-November period, up from 21 cents in the same quarter a year ago. Not counting lost sales due to Sandy, it expects adjusted earnings of 25 cents per share, matching analyst expectations. The company said as many as 225 stores were closed in the days after the storm, mainly due to power failures.

Revenue climbed 11 percent to $425 million. Analysts surveyed by FactSet predicted $414.5 million.

The company will announce full third-quarter results Dec. 13.