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Cato Reports October Same-Store Sales Down 3% Expects 3Q EPS Within Guidance Range

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cato Corporation (NYSE: CATO) today reported sales for the four weeks ended October 29, 2011 of $62.7 million, a 2% decrease from sales of $64.3 million for the four week period ended October 30, 2010.  Same-store sales for the month decreased 3%.

Sales for the third quarter ended October 29, 2011 were $194.1 million, a 2% decrease from sales of $198.2 million for the third quarter ended October 30, 2010.  Same-store sales for the third quarter decreased 3%.

Sales for the thirty-nine weeks ended October 29, 2011 were $699.1 million, a 1% increase over sales of $689.1 million for the thirty-nine weeks ended October 30, 2010.  The Company's year-to-date same-store sales decreased 1%.

"We now expect that third quarter earnings per diluted share will be within our estimated range of $.18 to $.21 versus $.20 last year, as restated," stated John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. 

The Company will release third quarter financial results on Thursday, November 17, 2011.

During the month of October, the Company opened seven stores, relocated one store and closed two It's Fashion stores to open It's Fashion Metro stores in the same market.  Three of the new stores opened during October were Versona Accessories stores, the Company's newest concept.  New stores opened in Augusta and Warner Robbins, GA, Louisville, KY, Baton Rouge, LA, Wyoming, MI, Fenton, MO and Columbia, SC. 

Year-to-date, the Company has opened 23 new stores, relocated three stores, and closed 13 stores, seven of which were closings of It's Fashion stores to open It's Fashion Metro stores in the same market.  As of October 29, 2011, the Company operated 1,292 stores in 31 states, compared to 1,281 stores in 31 states as of October 30, 2010.

The Cato Corporation is a leading specialty retailer of value-priced fashion apparel and accessories operating three divisions, "Cato," "Versona" and "It's Fashion."  The Company's Cato division offers exclusive merchandise with fashion and quality comparable to mall specialty stores at low prices every day. The Versona division is a unique fashion destination offering accessories and apparel including jewelry, handbags, and shoes at exceptional prices every day. The It's Fashion division offers fashion with a focus on the latest trendy styles and nationally recognized urban brands for the entire family at low prices every day. Additional information on The Cato Corporation is available at www.catocorp.com.

Statements in this press release not historical in nature including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company's expected financial results for the third quarter are considered "forward-looking" within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations that are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements.  Such factors include, but are not limited to, the following: general economic conditions; competitive factors and pricing pressures; the Company's ability to predict fashion trends; consumer apparel buying patterns; adverse weather conditions; inventory risks due to shifts in market demand and other such factors as are contained in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q .  The Company does not undertake to publicly update or revise the forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that the projected results expressed or implied therein will not be realized.  The Company is not responsible for any changes made to this press release by wire or internet services.

SOURCE The Cato Corporation



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