by Lance Turner
Posted 8/30/2007 10:59 am
Updated 2 years ago
Analysts on Wednesday cut price targets on shares of department store chain Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock, after the company posted another quarter of earnings losses.
Analysts for Credit Suisse and Lehman Brothers both reiterated "underweight" ratings on Dillard's shares, which finished Wednesday down 14 cents per share to $24.20. Shares had traded as low as $21.37 on Wednesday, the day after Dillard's posted a $25.2 million loss for the second quarter.
On Thursday morning, shares of Dillard's (NYSE: DDS) were trading at $23.36, down more than 3 percent from Wednesday's close.
Credit Suisse analyst Michael Exstein was particularly critical of the retailer in a research note that chided the notoriously tight-lipped company about what he said an inadequate explanation from Dillard's on what went wrong.
"No explanation of why things went so bad, no acknowledgment of the awful performance in the quarter, no acknowledgment of what's being done to stop things from getting worse ..." Exstein said, according to Reuters.
"While the company's standard operating procedure is to not provide any detail on the quarter or any other communication, this time should have been different."
Credit Suisse cut its price target on shares from $22 to $20.
Dillard's 31 cents per share loss was greater than analysts expectations of a 1 cent per share loss. Credit Suisse said it was Dillard's largest loss since at least 1992.
Lehman set its per share price target at $25. It noted that Dillard's has struggled to find a competitive niche.
In its earnings report after market close Tuesday, Dillard's attributed its poor performance on a gross margin decline "as lackluster sales during the quarter necessitated higher markdown activity in order to maintain acceptable inventory levels." Dillard's said inventory in comparable stores dropped 4 percent from the same quarter last year.
Dillard's also said cost of sales as a percentage of sales increased to 68.5 percent during quarter, up from 66.6 percent from the same quarter last year.