Dillard's Touts Success at Shareholders Meeting

by Mark Friedman  on Saturday, May. 21, 2011 11:03 am  

Its share price hitting a record high of $56.76 on May 13, Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock used its annual shareholders' meeting Saturday to tout the turnaround the department store chain has made since 2008.

Dillard's shares (NYSE: DDS) traded as low as $2.50 on Nov. 21, 2008, during the Great Recession.

"People who have stuck with us made a lot of money," Dillard's CEO William Dillard II said during the 10 minute meeting Saturday.

The company's net income was $179.6 million for the fiscal year ended Jan. 29, compared to $68.5 million the previous year, Dillard's President Alex Dillard said Saturday. For the fiscal year that ended in January 2009, Dillard's lost $241 million.
Earnings per share climbed from a loss of $3.25 for the fiscal year ended January 2009 to a profit of $2.67 in the year ended January 2011.

Cutting Costs, Holding the Line

Dillard praised the company's success in slashing operating expenses, which helped generate $513 million in cash flow and allow the company to buy 14.6 million Class A shares worth $414 million under its share repurchase program.

He said the company has closed 30 stores since 2008, and that the company doesn't see "opportunities to build or add stores" at this time.

As of April 30, Dillard's operated 294 stores and 14 clearance centers in 29 states.

Looking Ahead

Dillard also said that 2011 is off to a good start.

Dillard's first-quarter earnings rose 57 percent to $76.7 million -- a record amount for a first quarter, Dillard said.

Also during the meeting, shareholders re-elected the company's 12 board members. The Class A shareholders voted for four of them, and the Class B shareholders -- mostly members of the Dillard family -- voted on the remaining eight.

The vote for the advisory approval to its executive compensation plan was too close to call Saturday. Dillard's spokeswoman Julie Bull said after the meeting that the results would likely be announced Monday.

Like other publicly traded companies affected by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act of 2010, Dillard's asked its shareholders to vote on executive compensation every third year.  

The Dodd-Frank Act requires shareholder guidance on executive compensation either every year, every other year or every third year.

Dillard's "executive compensation practices are well-established, having been in place for several years," Dillard's said in its proxy statement. "Focusing on executive compensation over an annual or biennial period would focus on short-term results rather than long-term value recreation, which is inconsistent the Company's compensation philosophy and would be detrimental to the Company, its employees and its financial results."

 

 

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