Dillard’s fourth quarter was again a record. The company reported net income of $321.2 million, compared to $67 million in 2021 and $67.7 million in 2020. 2020 figure represent the end of fiscal 2019, which was the last year without the pandemic.
In the quarter comparable sales increased 37% compared to the previous year. In 2020 comparable sales increase 12%. Net income was $16.61 a share compared to $3.05 per share for the prior year fourth quarter.
For the full year the Dillard’s reported a sales increase of 53%. Comparable sales increased 8%. Net income was $862.5 million or $41.88 per share. That compared to a net loss of $3.16 a share due to the pandemic.
Included in the fourth quarter report’s fourth quarter were pre-tax asset impairment and store closing charges of $10.7 million ($0.38 per share). Also included is a net income for the prior year is the tax expense of $19.4 million ($0.88 per share) attributable to the Coronavirus Aid (Cares Act) partially offsetting the net tax benefits recognized during the first three quarters of 2020.
Dillard’s can be proud about the look of their stores. They look fresh, fully in-stock with the latest spring fashions throughout all departments. The change from fall to Spring was evident in several Southern stores. As a result, inventory decreased only 1%. In the previous year inventory decreased 26%.
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The company noted that compared for fiscal year 2020, gross margin in the fourth quarter improved 1116 basis of sales to 41.1% of sales from 30.2% of 2021 sales.
CEO William T. Dillard noted that “we ended fiscal 2021 (ended in January 2022) on a very strong note. they returned $866 million to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks, while still ending the fiscal year with $717 million in cash”.
POSTSCRIPT: Dillard’s performance was outstanding. There were fewer promotions and the full assortment in stores made shopping easier. It is likely that the company will sail in the new year at full speed. The company now operates 250 full line department stores and 30 clearance centers.