Cato Pays Special Dividend And Accelerates 2013 Full Year Dividend Payment In Anticipation Of Increased Tax Rates

Dec 03, 2012, 07:00 ET from The Cato Corporation

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In anticipation of increased federal tax rates in 2013 and other uncertainties associated with the "fiscal cliff", The Cato Corporation's (NYSE: CATO) Board of Directors has declared a special dividend of $1.00 per share as well as an acceleration of the 2013 full year dividend of $1.00 per share. 

Both dividends are payable on December 28, 2012 to its shareholders of record at the close of business on December 14, 2012.  These dividends are in addition to the Company's regular quarterly $.25 dividend declared on November 20, resulting in a total dividend of $2.25 per share, or approximately $66 million in total, to be paid on December 28.

In addition, the Board anticipates increasing the quarterly dividend by $.05 (or $.20 on an annualized basis) in early 2013, a 20% increase over the current dividend.  This increase, if approved, would be payable on a quarterly basis next year.

"Given the very unusual circumstances of the fiscal cliff and uncertainty of the federal tax treatment of dividends, paying both a special dividend and our 2013 dividend now is in the best interest of our long-term shareholders," stated John P.D. Cato, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.  "Cato has long been committed to providing value to its shareholders through an increasing dividend. The board's anticipated dividend increase in 2013 demonstrates that commitment." 

"Our balance sheet remains strong," Mr. Cato continued.  "Even in this period of financial and political uncertainty, we remain confident in our business and these payments will not affect our ability to fund new store development, invest in infrastructure and technology and opportunistically repurchase stock."

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

Statements in this press release not historical in nature including, without limitation, statements regarding the board's intention to increase the Company's quarterly dividend in fiscal 2013 are considered "forward-looking" within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Forward-looking statements are also identified by use of the words such as "will," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," "plan," "expect," "believe," "may," "should," "approximate," "hope" and any variations or negative formulations of the foregoing and similar expressions.  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 and accessory buying patterns; changes and uncertainties in factors that affect consumer confidence; adverse weather conditions; inventory risks due to shifts in market demand and other such factors as are contained in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Qand other reports filed with or furnished to the SEC from time to time.  The Company does not undertake to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that any future 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