Dillard's posts narrower loss, but misses Wall Street expectations

Wednesday, August 18th 2004, 10:41 am
By: News On 6

LITTLE ROCK (AP) _ Dillard's Inc. reported that its loss narrowed in the second quarter to nearly half of what it was a year ago, but it was still far more than Wall Street expected as the chain was dragged down by sluggish sales.

The Little Rock-based department store chain said Wednesday that it lost 26 million, or 31 cents per share, for the three months ended July 31. That compared with a loss of $50.4 million, or 60 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

The 2003 results included charges of $10.9 million, or 13 cents a share, for asset-impairment and store closing charges related to certain stores. It also included a $125.9 million call of debt that added interest expenses of $10 million or 12 cents per share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had forecast a loss of 16 cents per share.

Dillard's reported that its overall sales for the 13 weeks were $1.67 billion, a 3 percent decline from $1.72 billion in the year-ago period. Sales in stores open at least a year also fell by 3 percent.