Pier 1 Imports stock slides 16% premarket

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Pier 1’s stock extends plunge after analyst recommends ‘exit the shares now’

Shares of Pier 1 Imports Inc. slumped 1.5% toward an 8 1/2-month low in premarket trade Monday, after Raymond James turned bearish on the specialty home products retailer, citing the lack of anything “revolutionary” in the company’s turnaround plan. Analyst Budd Bugatch cut his rating to underperform, after being at market perform since September 2016. Bugatch acknowledged that he was “a bit late” with the downgrade, but was giving relatively new Chief Executive Alasdair James time to make the case for the turnaround plan, but given the lack of progress, he can not longer recommend investors holding onto the shares while management negotiates its “year of investment” in fiscal 2019, and its “year of transition” in 2020 to finally get to expected growth in 2021. “Accordingly, we are forced to recommend clients exit the shares now,” Bugatch wrote in a note to clients. The stock had plummeted 26% over the past three sessions, to close Friday at the lowest level since September 2009, after the company announced a 3-year plan to address “weaknesses” in its business. The stock had tumbled 36.2% year to date through Friday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF had lost 2.7% and the S&P 500 had eased 0.1%.

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