by Lance Turner
Posted 5/15/2014 03:36 pm
Updated 3 months ago
Editor's Note: A correction has been made to this article. See the end of this article for details.
Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock on Thursday reported first-quarter profit of $111.7 million, down about 5 percent from the $117.2 million it reported in the same quarter last year. But same-store sales rose by 2 percent.
The department store chain also reported diluted earnings per share of $2.56, up from $2.50 in the same quarter last year. Last year's comparable period contained one-time items including gains related an investment sale, a pension adjustment and store closings, which resulted in net after-tax credit of 9 cents per share.
Dillard's beat analysts' revenue predictions, posting $1.59 billion in first-quarter sales, flat compared to the same time last year.
"We reported record earnings per share of $2.56 compared to $2.50," Dillard's CEO William Dillard II said in a news release. "Our 2 percent comparable store sales increase marks our 15th consecutive quarter of positive sales. Additionally, we executed $65.9 million of share buyback as a result of our strong cash flow."
Total merchandise sales, which exclude revenue from Dillard's construction business, CDI Contractors LLC, were $1.54 billion, up 0.6 percent from $1.53 billion in the same period last year.
During the quarter, Dillard's (NYSE: DDS) repurchased $65.9 million in shares at an average price of $89.34.
Earlier this week, shares of Dillard's traded at new highs, closing at $100.19 per share on Tuesday. On Thursday, the stock closed at $96.60.
Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly applied the one-time items to first quarter 2014 earnings. But those one-time items occurred in the first quarter of last year.