Dillard's 3Q Profit Up 5 Percent to $50.9M

Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock on Thursday reported third-quarter net income of $50.9 million, up 5 percent from $48.5 million in the same quarter last year.

Earnings per share reached $1.13, up 12 percent from $1.01 in the same quarter last year.

Same store sales rose 1 percent, the department store chain said, making it 13 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth for the company.

"Another positive comparable store sales increase and expense control highlighted our third quarter at Dillard's, as did our aggressive execution of $187 million of share buyback," CEO William Dillard II said in a news release. 

"In spite of a somewhat disappointing 30 basis point decline in merchandise gross margin, we were pleased to deliver increased net income," he said. "As we enter our 75th anniversary holiday season, we are looking forward to serving our customers nationwide at an exceptional level."

Dillard's noted that third-quarter 2012 included a net after-tax credit totaling $2.4 million or 5 cents per share. Without those one-time items, third-quarter 2012 net income would have been $46.1 million or 96 cents per share.

Third-quarter net sales were $1.469 billion, up 1.3 percent from $1.450 billion in the same period last year. Net sales include the operations of the company's construction business, CDI Contractors LLC.

Total quarterly merchandise sales, which exclude CDI, were $1.437 billion, up about 1 percent from $1.425 billion in the same quarter last year. Same-store sales were also up 1 percent.

The company said sales trends were "notably strong" in ladies' accessories and lingerie followed by shoes and ladies' apparel. Sales were weakest in Dillard's home and furniture category. Sales trends were strongest in the Dillard's central region, followed by its eastern and western regions.

Dillard's also noted that during the quarter it repurchased $186.9 million, or 2.4 million shares, of its Class A Common Stock at an average price of $77.80 per share under its share repurchase plan.

In all, year-to-date share repurchase activity was $301.6 million, or 3.9 million shares, at an average cost of $78.30 per share.

Shares of Dillard's (NYSE: DDS) closed at $89.55 on Wednesday, up more than 6.5 percent.