Dillard's 4Q Net Rises 16 Percent, Same-store Sales Up 3 Percent

Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock on Thursday reported a 16 percent rise in fourth-quarter net income, with same-store sales up 3 percent, and a 40 percent boost in full-year net income.

The department store chain said fourth-quarter net income reached $112.8 million, or $2.21 per share, up from $96.9 million, or $1.55 per share, during the same quarter last year.

Dillard's (NYSE: DDS) called the earnings per share number "record setting."

Dillard's noted that fourth-quarter numbers were boosted by a $44.5 million pre-tax credit -- $28.7 million after tax -- from a lawsuit settlement with JDA Software. Including the credit, Dillard's fourth-quarter earnings were $141.5 million, or $2.77 per share. 

For the year, Dillard's report net income of $229.4 million, or $4.21 per share, up 40 percent from $163.2 million, or $2.43 per share, during the previous fiscal year.

Full-year net also included several one-time benefits. Including those items, Dillard's full-year net income reached $463.9 million, or $8.52 per share.

"We are pleased with our progress in 2011 where we delivered a record setting performance," Dillard's CEO William T. Dillard II said in a news release.

"With strong operating cash flow, we purchased $491 million of our Class A Common Stock during the year with $99 million accomplished in the fourth quarter. In 2012, we will remain focused on creating a clearly distinctive shopping experience at Dillard's in merchandise selection as well as in customer service."

Sales

For the quarter, net sales reached $1.97 billion, up about 2 percent from $1.93 billion during the same quarter last year. Net sales include the sales from the company's construction business, CDI Contractors LLC.

Excluding CDI, total merchandise sales at Dillard's department stores reached $1.95 billion, up about 2 percent from $1.91 billion during the same quarter last year. Same-store merchandise sales rose 3 percent, the company said.

For the full year, net sales reached $6.26 billion, up more than 2 percent from $6.12 billion.

Total merchandise sales for the year were $6.194 billion, up about 3 percent from $6.02 billion during the previous year. Same-store merchandise sales rose 4 percent.

Despite a big fourth quarter, revenue attributable to CDI Contractors was down for the full year, falling 31 percent to $70 million from $101 million in the previous year.

For the quarter, revenue attributable to CDI was $24 million, up 100 percent from $12 million during the same quarter last year.

Monthly Sales Reporting

Also Thursday, Dillard's said it will join other retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville, which no longer report monthly sales results. Dillard's will instead include those results in the company's quarterly news releases.

"Management believes that providing sales information quarterly with operating results provides a more complete representation of the company's performance," Dillard's said in a news release.