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KIRK, WSN, PIR Move Higher As Consumers Shell Out Cash For Home Products

Consumers may not be shelling out big bucks on big-ticket items, but the recent performance of the Home Furnishing Retailer Index indicates they’re spending a decent amount on products for their homes.

The Home Furnishing Retailer Stocks Index rose 6.5% on Thursday and is beating the S&P 500 by 15% over the last month, and many of the companies that make up the index are hitting new 52-week highs.

For example, take a look at Kirkland's (NASDAQ: KIRK). The Jackson, Tennessee-based company added 10% to its sector-leading 20% one-month gains yesterday, and was up 12% today in mid-day trading. At $11.04 a share, it has breezed by the previous high of $9.94.

Kirkland is a specialty retailer of home decor in the United States, selling a range of merchandise, including framed art, mirrors, wall decor, candles, lamps, decorative accessories, accent furniture, textiles, garden accessories, and artificial floral products.

William-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM) is another company on the move. Since January, its stock has risen 20%, and the high-end culinary equipment company’s latest results indicate that it does indeed have the ability to weather the economic storm.

While sales in Q4 2008 fell almost 27%, William-Sonoma has managed to cut its costs drastically. The company expects be able to derive profits between $1 and $2 per share for 2009. Not bad return when you consider the share price of $12 and the strength of its balance sheet. It also kicks in a nice little 4% dividend. Haverty Furniture (NYSE: HVT) also delivers a tidy 3% yield.

Pier 1 Imports (NYSE: PIR) posted a first-quarter fiscal year profit of $29 million, or 32 cents a share. It lost $32.8 million, or 37 cents per share, in the prior-year period. While the company’s net sales fell 9% $281.1 million, hurt by fewer stores and a 7.5% drop in comparable-store sales, it came in above analysts' estimates of $276.2 million.

Pier 1 Imports Inc. moved to a fiscal first-quarter profit Thursday, helped by a hefty gain related to the reduction of some debt. The results easily topped Wall Street's expectations.

Compared to last year, inventories are down by $91 million. The company also reduced its consolidated long-term debt by $79 million and posted a $48 million gain on the repurchase of debt.

After falling to just $.10 a share back in March, Pier 1 is now trading at $2.03 and went above its 200-day moving average in early May.