Cato Reports December Same-Store Sales Up 6%

Raises 4Q EPS Guidance

Jan 07, 2016, 07:00 ET from The Cato Corporation

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cato Corporation (NYSE: CATO) today reported sales for the five weeks ended January 2, 2016 of $118.5 million, a 9% increase from sales of $109.2 million for the five weeks ended January 3, 2015.  Same-store sales for the month increased 6%.

Sales for the eleven months ended January 2, 2016 were $948.5 million, a 3% increase from sales of $923.0 million for the eleven months ended January 3, 2015.  The Company's year-to-date same-store sales are flat to last year.

"December same-store sales results were above our expectations and original guidance," stated John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer.  "We now expect that fourth quarter earnings per diluted share will be within the range of $0.39 to $0.43, versus our original guidance of $0.35 to $0.39 and $0.33 last year.  Increased earnings per diluted share are primarily due to higher sales and lower taxes; however, we still remain cautious for the remainder of the quarter due to unfavorable sales comparisons to last year.  The Company's estimate for full year earnings per diluted share is now in the range of $2.35 to $2.39 versus our most recent guidance of $2.31 to $2.35 and $2.15 last year."

The Company closed 1 store during December.  As of January 2, 2016, the Company operated 1,372 stores in 32 states, compared to 1,345 stores in 32 states as of January 3, 2015.

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.  The Company also offers exclusive merchandise found in its Cato stores at  Versona is a unique fashion destination offering apparel and accessories including jewelry, handbags and shoes at exceptional prices every day.  Select Versona merchandise can also be found at  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 Company's expected or estimated financial results 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 and other factors discussed under "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of the Company's most recently filed annual report on Form 10-K and in other reports the Company files with or furnishes to the SEC from time to time.  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