story from Talk Business, a TCW content partner
Sales slipped and profits fell as Dillard’s reported its fourth quarter and full year earnings on Monday. The Little Rock-based retailer reported fourth quarter net income of $119.1 million on sales of $2.08 billion. One year ago, Dillard’s posted profits of $161.4 million on sales of $2.15 billion.
For the full year, Dillard’s recorded $323.7 million on lower sales of $6.69 billion. In its last fiscal year, Dillard’s posted $336 million on revenue of $6.75 billion.
Dillard’s had several one-time charges in its fourth quarter results, which included:
• A $6.8 million after-tax gain ($0.14 per share) related to the sale of a former retail store location;
• After-tax asset impairment and store closing charges of $1.1 million ($0.02 per share); and
• Approximately $18.1 million ($0.38 per share) in tax benefit due to a one-time deduction related to dividends paid to the Dillard’s, Inc. Investment and Employee Stock Ownership Plan.
Excluding these items, Dillard’s would have reported $137.6 million ($2.87 per share) for the 14-week period ended February 2, 2013.
Other highlights of the quarter include a 2% increase in comparable store sales, diluted earnings per share excluding certain items of $2.69 versus $2.87, retail gross margin decline of 180 basis points of sales; and operating expense improvement of 90 basis points of sales.
“Although it was a profitable fourth quarter, we are disappointed in our gross margin performance, as lower than anticipated sales necessitated heavier markdowns. We are pleased with our expense control as well as with our strong cash flow for the year,” said Dillard’s CEO William T. Dillard.
Dillard’s shares opened at $83.90 on Monday. The company’s stock has traded between $75.33 and $97.87 per share in the last 52 weeks.