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I would agree that the dual class structure is a problem. I'm not a big fan. I think that you can see similar problems with Viacom's stock (class B) due to Redstone's absolute control of the company. Viacom trades at 1.39X book even with some of the greatest brands in cable media (Nickelodeon, MTV) while Disney (ESPN - the third pillar of cable tv) trades at 2.14X. Besides the obvious asset makeup differences, I would say that a lot of the price difference is due to the lack of a possible takeover at Viacom. The same would be true at Dillard's. A privatey equity buyout is almost eliminated at Dillard's by the family control.

However, even at a company without the control issues of Dillard's before taking a position an investor should ask themselves if they trust management. This is even more crucial at Dillard's. If you do trust Dillard's management (family) though then you might be getting a deal.

As for the other issues you raised, I didn't take the time to look. I did a fly-by on the balance sheet and quickly crunched some numbers. Like you I did see some mutual funds that I respect in the stock and that always gives me cause to pause and ask some questions.



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