William Dillard II Says Dillard's is in Good Shape

William Dillard II, the CEO of Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock, said Saturday that the retail chain was in "good shape."

In the approximately five-minute annual shareholder meeting held at Dillard's headquarters in Little Rock, Dillard hit some of the high points of the company's fiscal year that ended Jan. 28. The highlights include a 4 percent same-store sales increase, which is considered a key indicator of a retailer's health, and the repurchase of $491 million worth of its stock. 

Dillard's also had an income of $463.9 million in its fiscal year that ended in January, or $8.52 per share, which was company's highest earning per share in its history. 

Dillard also touted the company's stock price (NYSE: DDS), which closed at $56 on May 13, 2011, climbed and fell during the year and closed at $65.21 on Friday. It had hit $70.43 on May 11.  

He also said the first quarter in 2012 showed the company was off to good start to the fiscal year. It posted first-quarter income of $95 million, up about 24 percent from about $77 million during the same quarter last year.

Dillard's also had a 5 percent increase in same-store sales during the quarter.

"We were pleased with the first quarter," Dillard said.

It bought back $27.5 million shares in the first quarter.

"We have done a good job in the last 18 months," Dillard said to the audience, which included most of the company's directors, who were attending a board meeting after the annual meeting. 

In other action, shareholders approved re-electing Dillard's four board members and approved the accounting firm KPMG LLP for fiscal 2012.

The board, though, is controlled by the Dillard family members under a dual-class stock arrangement. Class A stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, but holders of the Class B shares, owned almost exclusively by Dillard and his family members, have the right to choose eight of the 12 corporate directors.

As of April 28, Dillard's operated 287 Dillard's locations and 17 clearance centers spanning 29 states.