Cato Reports September Same-Store Sales Down 3% Reconfirms 3Q Guidance

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cato Corporation (NYSE: CATO) today reported sales of $70.7 million for the five weeks ended October 1, 2011, a 2% decrease from sales of $71.9 million for the five weeks ended October 2, 2010. Same-store sales for the five-week period decreased 3% from the prior year.

Sales for the thirty-five weeks ended October 1, 2011 were $636.4 million, a 2% increase over sales of $624.8 million for the thirty-five weeks ended October 2, 2010. The Company's year-to-date same-store sales were flat to the prior year.

"September same-store sales were in line with our recent trend and reflect the very challenging retail apparel environment," stated John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer.  "Although September sales results were below our original estimate, we continue to expect third quarter earnings per diluted share will be at the low end of the range of $.18 to $.21 versus $.20 last year, as restated."

During the month of September, the Company opened three new stores, relocated one store and closed one store. New stores opened in Camden, AR and Jackson, TN and the Company's first Versona store opened in Charlotte, NC. The relocated store was in Valley, AL. As of October 1, 2011, The Cato Corporation operated 1,287 stores in 31 states, compared to 1,280 stores in 31 states as of October 2, 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 and inventory risks due to shifts in market demand.  Additional information concerning these and other important factors can be found in Item 1A. "Risk Factors" of the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 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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