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Cato Reports September Same-Store Sales Down 4% Updates 3Q Guidance

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cato Corporation (NYSE: CATO) today reported sales of $71.1 million for the five weeks ended September 29, 2012, a 1% increase over sales of $70.7 million for the five weeks ended October 1, 2011.  Same-store sales for the five-week period decreased 4% from the prior year.

Sales for the thirty-five weeks ended September 29, 2012 were $637.5 million, flat to sales of $636.4 million for the thirty-five weeks ended October 1, 2011.  The Company's year-to-date same-store sales decreased 3% from the prior year.

"September same-store sales reflect a minimal negative impact from Hurricane Issac and were mostly in line with our year-to-date trend," stated John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer.  "We now expect third quarter earnings per diluted share will be at the lower end of our guidance range of $.12 to $.17 versus $.21 last year."

During the month of September, the Company opened five new stores and closed one store.  New stores opened in Little Rock, AR, Topeka, KS, Bayou Vista, LA, Raleigh, NC and Terrell, TX.  The one closed store was an It's Fashion store closed to open an It's Fashion Metro store in the same market.  As of September 29, 2012, The Cato Corporation operated 1,302 stores in 31 states, compared to 1,287 stores in 31 states as of October 1, 2011. 

The Cato Corporation is a leading specialty retailer of value-priced fashion apparel and accessories operating three concepts, "Cato", "Versona" and "It's Fashion".  The Company's Cato stores offer exclusive merchandise with fashion and quality comparable to mall specialty stores at low prices every day.  Versona is a unique fashion destination offering accessories and apparel including jewelry, handbags and shoes at exceptional prices every day.  It's Fashion offers fashion with a focus on the latest trendy styles 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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