A Dillard's store.

Shares in department store chain Dillard’s Inc.’s nosedived after it unveiled another “disappointing” quarter.

The Little Rock, Ark.-based company reported third-quarter net income of $7.4 million, or 27 cents per share, compared to $14.5 million, or 50 cents per share a year earlier. This fell short of the Wall Street consensus for earnings per share of 56 cents, according to Factset.

While news looked a little brighter elsewhere in its earnings report with net sales rising to $1.42 billion from $1.36 billion and comparable stores sales 3 percent higher, Dillard’s chief executive officer William T. Dillard 2nd, played down the progress.

“While we are encouraged by our 3 percent comparable sales performance, this was a disappointing quarter as markdowns weighed heavily on gross margin, particularly in the first month,” he said, although he added that operating performance improved as the quarter progressed and sales turned positive.

The earnings report weighed on Dillard’s share price, which was trading down 15 percent, or $11.06, at $62.73 in midday trading. The company is one of many who are struggling to keep up in the fierce battle for customers in the Amazon era.

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. also posted another poor quarter today, with a third-quarter net loss of $151 million, or 48 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $125 million, or 40 cents per share in the same period last year, as it treads water with a huge debt pile and a mountain of unsold stock on its back.

The earnings reports came as official data showed that overall retail sales rose by 0.8 percent in October, following two consecutive months of falls.

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