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Dillard's makes Q3 strides, but home still drags

Retail Editor 2 -- Home Textiles Today, November 14, 2013

Little Rock, Ark. - Dillard's Inc. is entering its 75th anniversary holiday season guardedly optimistic about its fourth quarter upon having ended Q3 with several highlights, including strong earnings per share and comp results.

But home could not take credit for having any part it, since the category - with furniture - was the weakest performer in the quarter.

Instead, sales trends were notably strong in ladies' accessories and lingerie followed by shoes and ladies' apparel.

For the 13-week quarter, ended November 2, Dillard's reported a 5% increase in net income to $50.9 million, or $1.13 per share, compared to $48.5 million, or $1.01 per share.

Quarterly net sales rose a slight 1.3% to $1.47 billion from $1.45 billion last year, while total merchandise sales inched up 1% to $1.437 billion versus the year-ago's $1.425 billion. Comparable store sales, too, increased by 1%.

"Another positive comparable store sales increase and expense control highlighted our third quarter at Dillard's, as did our aggressive execution of $187 million of share buyback," said William T. Dillard II, ceo. "In spite of a somewhat disappointing 30 basis point decline in merchandise gross margin, we were pleased to deliver increased net income."

Year to date, Dillard's reported a 17.3% increase in net income to $204.6 million, or $4.43 per share, compared to $174.5 million, or $3.55 per share. That included a $4.4 million after-tax credit.
Excluding the credit, Dillard's would have reported net income of $200.2 million, or $4.34 per share.

Net sales for the 39 weeks were essentially flat, at $4.5 billion. Total merchandise sales for the period were up 1% to $4.426 billion, and comp sales also increased 1%.


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