Earnings Scorecard: Rite Aid Corporation, The Kroger Co., and Pier 1 Imports, Inc.

Sizing up the earnings reactions for Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD), Kroger Co (NYSE:KR), and Pier 1 Imports Inc (NYSE:PIR)

by Karee Venema

Published on Jun 18, 2015 at 11:39 AM

A number of equities are making big post-earnings moves today, including drugstore chain Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD), grocery giant Kroger Co (NYSE:KR), and home furnishings peddler Pier 1 Imports Inc (NYSE:PIR). Here's a quick check on RAD, KR, and PIR in the wake of their quarterly earnings reports.

  • Due to its upcoming acquisition of EnvisionRx, RAD downwardly revised its full-year profit forecast. Additionally, Rite Aid Corporation fell just shy of analysts' bottom-line estimate for the first quarter, while revenue arrived in line. Against this backdrop, the shares are down 3% at $8.65 -- after earlier finding support near the $8.35 mark, home to RAD's 40-day moving average. Longer term, the stock has put in a strong technical performance, up 96% from its mid-October annual low of $4.42. While analysts have been climbing on board RAD's bullish bandwagon, short sellers have been taking a decidedly different route. Specifically, short interest climbed 12.1% in the most recent reporting period, and now accounts for 32.2 million shares. Should RAD resume its uptrend, a capitulation from some of the weaker bearish hands could help propel the equity higher.

  • KR is popping today, after the company reported first-quarter results that exceeded estimates, and raised its same-store sales outlook for 2015. The shares initially jumped 2.9% on the news -- less than the options market was expecting -- and were last seen up 1.3% at $73.86. This positive price action is just more of the same for a stock that's up almost 50% year-over-year. Short-term options traders have been bracing for a post-earnings pullback, though, per Kroger Co's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.86, which rests in the 82nd annual percentile. The stock could find a fresh burst of buying power, should some of these put players surrender to its technical prowess.

  • PIR said its first-quarter profit tumbled more than 50%, while sales edged up 3.1%. As a result, the company announced a round of cost-cutting measures, including the closing of a number of stores. Even with the news, share of PIR are up 0.9% at $12.12 -- bringing their year-to-date deficit to 21.3%. Amid this longer-term decline, the brokerage bunch has been downwardly revising its outlooks on the shares, with Cantor Fitzgerald cutting its price target on the security to $16 from $17 overnight. However, there's still room for more bearish brokerage notes, considering 31% of analysts maintain a "strong buy" rating on Pier 1 Imports Inc. Plus, the average 12-month price target of $14.83 sits roughly 22.4% above the equity's current perch, while Cantor Fitzgerald's new target price still represents a 32% premium.

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