Dillard’s third quarter in the red, stock zooms   

Little Rock, Ark. – Posting a third-quarter net loss of $11.3 million, compared to income of $13.6 million for the year-ago period, Dillard’s nonetheless found ways to entice investors as the company announced the completion of one stock buyback and the initiation of another – and Wall Street responded by driving the company’s share price up by more than 11% before midday.

The 331-unit southern regional department store chain had sales of $1.63 billion for the period, down 5% from $1.72 billion last year, and comps fell by 6%. “Sales in the juniors’ and children’s apparel category and the home and other category declined significantly more than trend during the period,” the company said.

William Dillard II, ceo, acknowledged the company’s “disappointing” performance and said Dillard’s will “continue to improve and edit merchandise assortments to strengthen our appeal.”

Dillard’s repurchased $111.6 million of its Class A common stock, completing an extant $200 million plan – and authorized a new $200 million repurchase, with no time limit.

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