A big fourth quarter propelled mall and online retailer Dillard’s, Inc. to a stellar year of profits.
The Little Rock-based retailer reported fourth quarter net income of $141.5 million boosted by a $28.7 million after-tax favorable legal settlement with a software firm. Revenues for the quarter topped $2 billion. One year ago, Dillard’s posted net income of $109.6 million on revenue of $1.977 billion.
For the full year, Dillard’s recorded net income of $463.9 million, up more than 1.5 times last year’s net income of $179.6 million. Full year revenues climbed slightly higher to $6.4 billion, an improvement over last year’s total sales of $6.25 billion.
The retailer also blew past analyst estimates. Per share earnings for the fourth quarter were $2.21 and $4.31 for the year, better than market predictions of $2.02 and $4.15, respectively.
“We are pleased with our progress in 2011 where we delivered a record setting performance,” said Dillard’s CEO William T. Dillard. “With strong operating cash flow, we purchased $491 million of our Class A Common Stock during the year with $99 million accomplished in the fourth quarter. In 2012, we will remain focused on creating a clearly distinctive shopping experience at Dillard’s in merchandise selection as well as in customer service.”
Same-store sales — a key barometer of retail performance — was healthy for Dillard’s. The company saw comp store sales rise 3% in the fourth quarter and 4% for the year.
Dillard’s also announced it will no longer report monthly sales results, but will issue quarterly press releases on its sales performance. “Management believes that providing sales information quarterly with operating results provides a more complete representation of the company’s performance,” the company said in a note to investors. Many retailers report sales on a quarterly basis to avoid one-time trends.
Dillard’s share price closed trading Wednesday at $52.20 and was poised to open higher on Thursday in pre-market activity. The company’s stock has ranged from $37.87 to $61.08 during the last 52 weeks.
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