Kohl's

Kohl’s Corp. and Dillard’s Inc. headed in opposite directions in the third quarter.

Kohl’s appeared to be getting itself back on its feet and Kevin Mansell, chairman, chief executive officer and president, expressed optimism headed into the holiday season. On the other hand, Dillard’s ceo William Dillard 2nd acknowledged the company was working through a “tough time.”

Kohl’s third-quarter net income increased 21.7 percent to $146 million, or 83 cents a diluted share, with adjusted earnings of 83 cents a share coming in well ahead of the 70 cents analysts projected. Sales for the three months ended Oct. 29 slipped 2.3 percent to $4.33 billion.

Men’s was the company’s strongest business category, with strength in active and tailored looks.

Mansell said: “We’re very well-positioned for the upcoming holiday season. We have momentum coming out of October. We have considerable newness in our stores and online assortments. Given our much lower inventory position, we’ve created a more appealing selling environment in our stores and we can deliver a substantial amount of new transitional product across the company as we move through the holiday season.”

Investors liked what they heard and pushed the stock up 11.5 percent to $50.97, making Kohl’s one of the leading stocks as Wall Street continued to climb as investors accepted the notion of Donald Trump as president.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shot up 218.19 points, or 1.2 percent, to 18,807.88, having set a new all-time high of 18,873.66 in midday trading.

Dillard’s also benefited from that rush up, rising 9.9 percent in regular trading only to sink 4.9 percent to $67 after the company weighed in with third-quarter results.

The department store’s third-quarter net profits fell 50 percent to $22.8 million, or 67 cents a diluted share, from $45.7 million, or $1.19, a year earlier, when the sale of three stores produced a tax credit that boosted income to the tune of 16 cents share. Expenses rose over the quarter, totaling 30.1 percent of sales, or $410.5 million, up from 28.8 percent of sales a year earlier.

Sales for the three months ended Oct. 29 declined 4.8 percent to $1.37 billion with a 4 percent comparable-store drop.

The department store said that all of its product categories posted declines.

Dillard, the ceo, said: “Our sales decline continued to weigh heavily on profitability during the third quarter. As we work through this tough time, we are focused on improving customer experience through attracting and maintaining premium brands while providing exceptional service. Shareholder return remains a priority, and we returned $55 million of cash to shareholders through share repurchase and dividends.”

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