The retailer reported last month fourth-quarter earnings of $141.5 million, or $2.82 a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $109.6 million, or $1.77 a share."Shoes and accessories alone make up 30% of DDS business, and we have no doubt that this helped to drive the company's 3% increase in same store sales (SSS) and further expansion of its operating margin (+40 bps)," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a Feb. 23 report. "Looking ahead, now that the retail gross margin appears to have stabilized (flat to down 10 bps in each of the last three quarters), further expansion of the operating margin will likely need to result from continued top line improvement." Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 0.3% Rated "A- (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin was about the same as it was last year. Dillard's has very weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.29, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs. In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 2% from the prior year. TheStreet Ratings' price target is $77.59. The stock closed Monday at $63.89 and has risen 42.36% year to date.
Franklin Resources The asset management firm had $727.4 billion in assets under management in February, which topped both January's number of $704.3 billion and year-ago assets under management of $693.7 billion. "BEN reported Feb month-end AUM of $727.4B, an increase of 3.3% m/m and slightly below our estimate of $730.0B," Jefferies analysts wrote in a March 9 report. "Net flows appear positive but likely totaled [less than] $1B during the month. Equity flows were modestly weaker than last month, while fixed income exhibited a m/m improvement. Importantly, trends in the global fixed income category continue to improve." Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 0.9% Rated "A- (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's first-quarter gross profit margin was about the same as it was last year. In the first quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 1.77% from the prior year. TheStreet Ratings' price target is $141.67. The stock closed Monday at $125.16 and has risen 30.29% year to date.
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