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Dillard’s Q1 Profit Falls 20% on Slowing Sales

2 min read

Dillard’s Inc. of Little Rock (NYSE: DDS) reported Thursday that total retail sales fell 4% to $1.515 billion in its first quarter that ended April 29.

The Little Rock department store chain reported net income of $201.5 million for the quarter, a decline of 19.7% from the same quarter a year ago.

“We had a good quarter against a tough comparison … as customer activity declined in the back half of the quarter,” Dillard’s CEO William Dillard II said in a news release.

Dillard’s reported total same-store sales also fell by 4% in the first quarter. Same-store sales, which measure performance at locations that have been open at least a year, are considered an indicator of a retailer’s health.

Cosmetics was the strongest performing category, followed by shoes and ladies’ apparel, Dillard’s said. Ladies’ accessories and lingerie and juniors’ and children’s apparel were the weakest categories, the company said.

Its operating expenses rose in the quarter to $406.4 million compared with $400.8 million the previous year.

Its earnings per share for the quarter was $11.85 compared with $13.68 in the same quarter a year ago.

The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $9.07 per share.

Retail gross margin for the quarter was 45.6% of sales compared with a record 47.3% of sales for the prior year first quarter.

Total sales for the quarter were $1.58 billion, which includes the retailer’s construction business, CDI Contractors LLC. That’s down from $1.61 billion in the same quarter year ago, but higher than Wall Street forecasts. Three analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.57 billion.

During the quarter, Dillard’s bought $113.8 million, about 357,000 shares, of Class A Common Stock at an average price of $318.66 per share.

As of April 29, $61.6 million remained under the February 2022 stock buyback program.

Thursday morning, Dillard’s stock price dipped to $279.43. It closed at $282.51 on Wednesday.

Dillard’s has 247 Dillard’s locations and 27 clearance centers in 29 states.

A previous version of this story incorrectly reported how much Dillard’s net income fell by percentage.

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