For the 13-week fourth quarter ended January 31, Dillard’s reported net income of $130.5 million, or $3.17 per share, versus $119.1 million, or $2.71 per share, for the prior-year period. Included in net income for the prior-year fourth quarter was an after-tax gain of $800,000, or two cents per share, from the reversal of asset impairment charges on a store held for sale.
A consensus of financial analysts polled by Zacks was for Dillard’s net income of $3.20.
Comparable store sales gained 3% in the quarter year over year. Net sales were $2.14 billion versus $2.03 billion for the year-earlier quarter. Net sales include the operations of the company’s construction business, CDI Contractors, LLC. Total merchandise sales, excluding CDI were $2.07 billion versus $2.01 billion for the quarter last year.
Dillard’s reported net income for the full fiscal year of $331.9 million, or $7.79 per share, versus $323.7 million, or $7.10 per share, for the year prior. Included in net income for the current 52-week period is a net after-tax gain of $3.8 million, or nine cents per share, related to the sale of a store location. Included in net income for the year earlier was a net after-tax gain totaling $5.1 million, or 11 cents per share.
Comps increased 1% in the fiscal year versus the 52-weeks prior. Net sales for the fiscal year were $6.62 billion versus $6.53 billion for the year earlier. Total merchandise sales were $6.49 billion versus $6.44 billion for the year prior.
In announcing the financial results, Dillard’s CEO, William Dillard, II, said, “We finished 2014 with our best sales performance of the year in the most important quarter. Our 3% sales increase was supported by a strong 103 basis point retail gross margin improvement, as customers responded well to our improved mix and service throughout the holiday season.”
In fiscal 2014, Dillard’s opened two new stores in Las Vegas at The Shops at Summerlin and in Sarasota, FL at The Mall at University Town Center.