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What:Shares ofDillard'slost 17% last month, according to data fromS&P Global Market Intelligence, tracking with a widespread sell-off in the department-store industry. As youcan see from the chart below, most of the decline came during the first week of the month when retail stocks were hit the hardest.
So what:The slide in retail stocks, which brought many of Dillard's peers down by double digits, came as a number of retailers reported weak same-store sales. Among them wasGap,seen by some as a bellwether for the apparel industry, where comparables slipped 6%. Other retailers posting disappointing results for the month includedCostco,and smaller retailers likeThe Buckle andZumiez. Industry-wide, comparable sales improved just 0.2%, according to Retail Metrics.
There was little news out on Dillard's itself during the month, but as the company is a mall anchor, its fate tends to be tied to overall retail traffic.
Now what:Dillard's is expected to report first-quarter earnings by the end of next week, but retailers are sliding Wednesday after a dismal report byMacy's, with Dillard's shares off more than 6%. That may be the best indicator that a disappointing quarterly report is on the way from the southern department-store chain. Like Macy's, Dillard's has been closing stores lately, and carries a similarly cheap valuation, indicating that investors are skeptical of future growth from the company.
For the first quarter, analysts are expecting earnings per share of $2.52, down from $2.66 a year ago; but the company has missed estimates in three of its last four reports. As other retail earnings reports come in, we should get a better sense of Dillard's results.
The article Why Dillard's, Inc Stock Fell 17% in April originally appeared on Fool.com.
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