Dillard's Loses Less Than Expected

Sales in the second quarter rose 1% from last year.
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Dillard's

(DDS) - Get Report

lost less money in the second quarter than it did a year ago, and total sales jumped 1%, helping lift shares of the department-store operator in premarket trading.

For the quarter ended July 30, Dillard's lost $12.3 million, or 15 cents a share, compared with a loss of $26 million, or 31 cents a share, a year ago. The latest quarter includes asset-impairment and store-closing charges of 5 cents.

Net sales reached $1.69 billion, up from $1.67 billion in the prior year. Sales increased 1% on both a total and comparable-store basis.

Shares of the Little Rock, Ark., retailer got a 1.3% boost before the opening bell, rising 27 cents to $20.87.

Dillard's attributed the improved results to positive comp sales, better gross margins, lower advertising, selling, general and administrative expenses, and decreased interest costs.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting a loss of 28 cents a share and sales of $1.72 billion in the second quarter.