Dillard bounces back in 1Q


Bouncing back from losses in the first quarter of last year, when the pandemic forced the closure of several of its stores across the country, Dillard’s Inc. on Thursday reported a profit of $ 158.2 million in the quarter that ended on May 1.

After markets closed on Thursday, earnings for the Little Rock-based department store chain stood at $ 7.25 a share. In the same quarter a year ago, Dillard’s reported a net loss of $ 162 million, or $ 6.94 per share.

Dillard’s net income included an after-tax gain of $ 19.2 million or 88 cents per share related primarily to the sale of three store buildings.

Thursday’s results exceeded Wall Street analysts’ average earnings estimate by $ 1.54 per share.

Revenue increased 69% to $ 1.33 billion. Dillard’s net sales include the operations of the Company’s construction business, CDI Contractors LLC, as well as merchandise sales.

Total retail sales, which exclude permanent contracts, rose 73% to $ 1.3 billion. Clothing across the board, including women’s accessories and lingerie, was the top performing category for the quarter.

“There are a lot of good things to say about this quarter,” CEO William Dillard II said in the earnings report. “As vaccinations increased, stimulus funds were released and warmer weather arrived, we saw our sales increase. [pre-pandemic] 2019 levels, with continued momentum throughout the quarter. “

“We are pleased to report record performance in terms of gross margin and earnings per share,” said Dillard.

Retail gross margin, which excludes permanent contracts, improved to 42.7% from 12.8% the previous year. Dillard management attributed this to better inventory management and customer demand, which resulted in lower markdowns.

For a pre-pandemic comparison, the company posted a retail gross margin of 37.8% in the first quarter of 2019.

Dillard reported cash flow from operations of $ 304.2 million, compared to $ 111.1 million of cash used in operations a year ago. The company ended the quarter with $ 616 million in cash, up 780% from $ 70 million last year.

The chain did not report comparable store sales or sales in stores open for at least a year, as many stores were closed by state or local orders during the first quarter of the year. last.

Dillard’s operates 250 department stores and 31 liquidation centers in 29 states, as well as its e-commerce business. She closed and sold a store in a Baton Rouge mall during the quarter.

The company repurchased $ 58.8 million of Class A common stock during the quarter as part of a $ 500 million share repurchase program. The buyback authorization of $ 114.3 million remained under the plan as of May 1.

Dillard shares rose $ 4.95 or 5.09%, to close Thursday at $ 102.12 on the New York Stock Exchange. The company’s shares have traded between $ 21.50 and $ 128 in the past year.

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