NEW YORK — Off-pricer Syms Corp. parlayed a single-digit sales pickup into more than a fivefold increase in net income during the fourth quarter and declared a special $1-a-share dividend. During the 13 weeks ended Feb. 26, net income vaulted to $3.9 million, or 26 cents a share, from $720,000, or 5 cents, in the final quarter of last year.

Net sales moved up 3.7 percent, to $78 million, during the quarter as same-store sales bounded 8.5 percent.

Concurrent with the earnings report, Syms said it would pay a special onetime cash dividend of $1 a share on May 12 to shareholders of record on April 27. The company had more than 15 million shares outstanding at the end of the fourth quarter.

For the full year, Syms reversed a year-ago loss with net income of $2.2 million, or 14 cents, as sales grew 3 percent to $283.6 million. Comparable-store sales rose 5.4 percent.

This story first appeared in the April 11, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.