Dillard's Stumbles With Earnings Miss

Dillard’s Inc. (NYSE: DDS) reported its fiscal third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Monday. The company had $1.19 in earnings per share (EPS) on $1.435 billion in revenue. That compares to consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of $1.20 in EPS on revenue of $1.49 billion. In the same period of the previous year, the retailer posted EPS of $1.30 and $1.50 billion in revenue.

Sales in comparable stores for the period decreased 4%. In relation to the total company sales performance, better performing categories were shoes, juniors’ and children’s apparel, cosmetics and ladies’ apparel.

Weaker performing categories were men’s apparel and accessories and ladies’ accessories and lingerie, with notable weakness in home and furniture. Sales were strongest in the Eastern region, followed by the Western and Central regions, respectively.

Gross margin from retail operations improved 11 basis points of sales for this quarter, compared to the prior year third quarter.

Dillard’s operated 274 locations and 23 clearance centers, spanning 29 states, at the end of the fiscal third quarter.

William T. Dillard II, CEO of Dillard’s, commented on the earnings:

We are disappointed with our third quarter sales performance and in the resulting decline in profit. Share buyback remained a high priority, and we repurchased $175 million of stock under our share repurchase program.

At the end of October, 2015, there was an authorization of $117.5 million that remained under the share repurchase program.

On the books, cash and cash equivalents totaled $100.1 million at the end of the fiscal third quarter, compared to $91.9 million in the same period from the previous year.

Shares of Dillard’s closed Friday down 8.8% at $77.51. The consensus analyst price target is $94.83, and the 52-week trading range is $76.30 to $144.21. Following the release of the earnings report, shares were down an additional 11.7% at $68.41 in early trading indications on Monday.

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