Dillard's

(DDS) - Get Report

, the third-largest operator of upscale department stores, missed Wall Street's expectations by 11 cents, in sharp contrast to rivals

Federated Department Stores

(FD)

, which topped estimates this quarter by 4 cents, and

May Department Stores

(MAY)

, which met estimates.

For the first quarter ended April 29, the company reported net income of $46.2 million, or 48 cents a diluted share, down 31% from $66.9 million, or 63 cents a share, a year earlier. The consensus estimate of analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

was 59 cents.

Revenue fell 2% to $2.083 billion from $2.120 billion a year ago. Same-store sales were down 2% from a year ago.

The 1998 acquisition of

Mercantile Stores

, which expanded the presence of Little Rock, Ark.-based Dillard's in the Midwest and South, has proven to be a continued drag on the company.

"The company had difficulty achieving earnings growth during the 1990s and that problem was compounded by the acquisition of Mercantile, which led to integration difficulties," said Bernard Sosnick, an analyst with

Fahnestock & Co.

He rates Dillard's a hold and his firm has done no underwriting for the company.

Shares of Dillard's, which have dropped 57% in the past year, were down 3/4, or 5%, to 14 1/8 in early trading Monday. (Dillard's closed down 7/16, or 3%, at 14 7/16.)