LITTLE ROCK, Ark. ( TheStreet) -- Dillard's ( DDS)is spiking as the department store returned to a profit in the fourth quarter.

During the quarter, Dillard's earned $79.5 million, or $1.08 a share, compared with a loss of $149.3 million, or $2.03, in the year-ago period.

Excluding one-time items Dillard's actually earned $1.04 a share, better than the 92 cents analysts expected.

Dillard's attributed its move back into black to lower costs, which it trimmed to $431 million from $481.8 last year. It also lowered inventory levels 5% from last year.

Sales, however, still dropped 10% to $1.83 billion from $2.04 billion, while same-store sales tumbled 13%.

Shares of Dillard's are surging 14.4% to $19.30 in morning trading.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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