Dillard's Shares Dropped: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of department-store operator Dillard's (NYS: DDS) were put on sale by investors today, with prices dropping as much as 15% in intraday trading after the company reported third-quarter results.

So what: Seriously, Mr. Market? Sometimes I really don't get you. For the quarter that ended Oct. 29, Dillard's reported net sales of $1.38 billion, up 3% from last year and roughly in line with estimates. Earnings per share, meanwhile, clocked in at $0.50, more than doubling from 2010 and crushing the $0.32 average Wall Street estimate. Same-store sales for the period also climbed, gaining 5%.

Now what: In news coverage of the report, the drop was blamed on margins. I say baloney. This looks like a very solid quarter for Dillard's, and it looks like an inappropriate market response.

Does that mean that I'm pounding the table on buying Dillard's shares? No. I'm not sold on the company itself and think there are better investments out there. That said, for those who are on board with the Dillard's story, I wouldn't lose sleep over the market's shenanigans today.

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