Revenue slid but profits improved for Little Rock-based retailer Dillard’s. The mall and internet retailer posted profits of $55.2 million on quarterly sales of $1.499 billion in its most recent quarter.
One year ago, Dillard’s posted net income of $50.9 million on revenue of $1.507 billion. Same-store sales declined one percent for Dillard’s.
Dillard’s third quarter profits were boosted by a net after-tax credit of $3.8 million related to the sale of a store location.
The company also completed a share repurchase program, spending $224.5 million for approximately 2 million shares of Class A Common Stock at an average price of $109.89 per share.
Other financial highlights for the quarter included:
• Gross margin from retail operations (which excludes CDI) improved 69 basis points of sales for the 13 weeks ended Nov. 1, 2014 compared to the prior year third quarter. The improvement resulted primarily from increased markups combined with decreased markdowns.
• Consolidated gross margin for the 13 weeks ended Nov. 1, 2014 improved 50 basis points of sales compared to the prior year third quarter.
• Inventory remained unchanged on a percentage basis at Nov. 1, 2014 compared to Nov. 2, 2013.
“Returning cash to shareholders was a high priority during the quarter, and we completed the remaining $224.5 million of share repurchase authorization. Although comparable sales declined 1%, we were pleased with a 69 basis point merchandise gross margin improvement, with our inventory control and with our strong operating cash flow. We believe we are positioned very well for the holiday season, and we look forward to providing premium Dillard’s service to our customers,” said Dillard’s CEO Bill Dillard.
Dillard’s shares (NYSE: DDS) closed trading on Wednesday at $105.43 and were trading nearly 4% higher in pre-market activity. During the past year, the company’s stock has traded between $82.75 and $125.17 per share.