NEWS IN BRIEF

Benton Commons

sells for $9.34M

Miami investors have agreed to purchase the Saline County retail center on Military Road for $9.34 million.

The 74,870-square-foot shopping center was purchased by 1410 Military Road LLC, from Kirkpatrick Real Properties.

"Benton Commons is the premier grocery-anchored retail center in Saline County," said Todd Rice, who represented the seller on behalf of Colliers of Arkansas. "Its convenient location and strong tenant roster made it a quality investment purchase for its new owners."

The facility, just off of Interstate 30 at 1400-1418 Military Road in Benton, is anchored by Kroger with other tenants that include State Farm Insurance, Sumo Express, Direct General Insurance and H&R Block.

-- Andrew Moreau

Dillard's dividend,

stock buyback OK'd

Dillard's Inc.'s board of directors has approved a 20-cent dividend payable to shareholders on July 31, and the repurchase of up to $500 million of its common stock after completing its previous share repurchase program.

The Little Rock-based department store chain said the dividend will be payed to shareholders of record as of June 30. Dillard's has paid a 20-cent dividend nearly every quarter since August 2019.

The newly authorized share repurchase program allows the company to buy back its Class A common stock on the open market.

Dillard's stock closed Monday at $288.72, up $10.72, or 3.86%, on the New York Stock Exchange. Its shares have traded between $193 and $417.86 in the past year.

The company released its first-quarter earnings on May 11, with profit down nearly 20% from the same quarter of 2022.

Dillard's reported net income of $201.5 million, or $11.85 per share, for the quarter that ended on April 29, compared with $251.1 million, or $13.68 per share, in last year's first quarter.

Revenue slipped 1.9% to $1.58 billion.

Sales at its stores open at least a year, often called same-store sales, fell 4%. Same-store sales are considered a key indicator of a retailer's health.

Retail sales slowed industrywide in the first quarter as consumers struggled with inflation, according to an industry analysis from Placer.ai. Foot traffic also dropped compared with the first quarter of 2022, the report said.

Dillard's operates 247 stores and 27 clearance centers in 29 states, along with its e-commerce site.

-- Serenah McKay

State index starts

week 5.58 higher

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Monday at 752.31, up 5.58 points, or less than 1%.

Dillard's Inc. saw a nearly 4% gain in trading Monday while Murphy USA Inc. saw a decline of nearly 2%.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

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