LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A surprisingly blunt William Dillard II capped a 15-minute annual meeting Saturday when he said a “shockingly bad” fourth quarter dashed hopes for a reasonable 2002 fiscal year at Dillard’s Inc.

The department store chain based here is known for sharing as little information as possible with the public, but the shareholder meeting was perfunctory even by the company’s standards. Dillard, who is chairman and chief executive officer, commented on a few slides containing already released 2002 numbers and adjourned the gathering, but filled in a few gaps in a session with reporters after the meeting.

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