Dillard’s Inc. continued to see sales and profits slide during the third quarter, but Wall Street expected worse.
The Arkansas-based department store chain posted net income of $14.5 million for the period ended Oct. 28, a 36.4 percent drop from net income of $22.8 million the same time last year. This quarter’s income also included $4.8 million from the “disposal” of store property and an insurance payout on a damaged location in Missouri.
Equal to 50 cents per share, income beat Wall Street estimates of 21 cents, and shares of Dillard’s hit $60 in after-hours trading, the highest level since early September.
Total sales for the period totaled $1.35 billion, a 1 percent drop from $1.37 billion last year. Comparable-store sales also fell by 1 percent.
William Dillard II blamed the successive impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma for the sales decline, noting that the extreme weather took a toll on the store’s largest states, Texas and Florida.
“Excluding these events, we believe sales would have been flat for the quarter,” Dillard said. “We were encouraged by positive sales trends in the past few weeks of the quarter, and we hope it continues.”
Damage to Dillard’s locations in Texas and Florida was “minimal,” according to the company.
During the second quarter, Dillard’s tallied a $17.1 million net loss, compared to net income of $12.1 million the year before.
Around the same time, activist investor snow Park Capital Partners began needling the department store to do more with its real estate assets. Snow’s managing director Jeff Pierce said Dillard’s owned real estate is worth more than $200 per share.
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