Dillard's 3Q profit soars on lower inventory

Dillard's Inc. said Friday its third-quarter profit surged 80 percent, benefiting from improved margins, reduced expenses and lower inventory.

Its stock jumped $3.17, or 11.3 percent, to $31.26 in afternoon trading after hitting a new annual high of $32.52 earlier in the session.

The department store operator reported net income of $14.4 million, or 22 cents per share, for the period ended Oct. 30, up from $8 million, or 11 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue dipped 1 percent to $1.37 billion from $1.39 billion.

Dillard's lowered its advertising, selling, administrative and general expenses to $398.5 million from $402.1 million during the quarter.

It said its gross margin from retail operations improved because of its tightened inventory which led to fewer markdowns.

Inventory at stores open at least a year fell 2 percent.

Dillard's, which is based in Little Rock, Ark., had 296 of its namesake stores and 14 clearance centers in 29 states as of Oct. 30.