U.S. Markets close in 37 mins

Why Is Dillard's (DDS) Up 18.9% Since Last Earnings Report?

Zacks Equity Research

It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Dillard's (DDS). Shares have added about 18.9% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Dillard's due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

Dillard's Earnings and Sales Miss Estimates in Q2

Dillard's reported dismal second-quarter fiscal 2019 results, wherein earnings and sales missed estimates. Results were impacted by higher markdowns and soft margins.

Q2 Numbers

Dillard's reported adjusted loss per share of $1.74, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of loss of 66 cents. Further, the bottom line compared unfavorably with the year-ago quarter’s loss of 10 cents per share.

Net sales were $1,458.8 million, reflecting a decline of 2.8% from the year-ago quarter while missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,470 million. Excluding services and other income, sales fell 2.8% to $1,426.8 million. Merchandise sales dipped 2.2% to $1,378 million. Sales in comparable stores for the 13 weeks (ended Aug 3, 2019) also declined 2%.

During the fiscal second quarter, the company witnessed robust performance in juniors' and children's apparel along with momentum in home and furniture, and men's apparel and accessories. However, sales remained soft for the ladies' apparel as well as ladies' accessories and lingerie categories. Notably, the eastern region performed exceedingly well, followed by western and central regions.

Consolidated gross margin declined 304 bps. Gross margin from retail operations contracted 319 bps mainly due to higher markdowns.

Dillard's SG&A expenses (as a percentage of sales) rose 90 bps from the prior-year quarter to 28.7%. In dollar terms, SG&A expenses (operating expenses) dipped 0.2% to $409.1 million.

Financial Details

The company ended the fiscal second quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $118.1 million, long-term debt and finance leases of $367 million, and total shareholders’ equity of $1,645.9 million. As of Aug 3, 2019, merchandise inventories were nearly flat at $1,603 million.

In the first half of fiscal 2019, the company used cash of $18.6 million in operating activities. However, it remained committed to rewarding shareholders with dividends and buybacks.

During the fiscal second quarter, the company bought back roughly 0.8 million shares for $48.9 million under its $500-million repurchase program announced in March 2018. As of Aug 3, 2019, it had share buyback authorization worth $340.6 million remaining under its program.

Store Update

As of Aug 3, 2019, Dillard’s had about 260 namesake outlets and 29 clearance centers, operating in 29 states alongside an online store at www.dillards.com. The company’s total square footage as of Aug 3 was 48.8 million.

Further, it planned to close three stores in the coming months. These closures include locations in Oakwood Mall in Enid, OK; Cary Village in Cary, NC; and Mall of the Bluffs in Council Bluffs, IA.

Fiscal 2019 View

Dillard’s provided guidance for fiscal 2019. The company now expects rentals of approximately $28 million compared with $29 million in fiscal 2018. Net interest and debt expenses are anticipated to be $46 million, down from $53 million in fiscal 2018. Furthermore, the company now projects capital expenditure of about $125 million for fiscal 2019 compared with $140 million stated earlier, whereas it spent $137 million in fiscal 2018.

For fiscal 2019, depreciation and amortization expenses are projected to be $224 million, flat with the fiscal 2018 level.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates revision have trended downward during the past month. The consensus estimate has shifted -7.69% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

At this time, Dillard's has a poor Growth Score of F, however its Momentum Score is doing a lot better with a C. However, the stock was allocated a grade of A on the value side, putting it in the top quintile for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of C. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. It's no surprise Dillard's has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). We expect a below average return from the stock in the next few months.



Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
Dillard's, Inc. (DDS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
 
Zacks Investment Research