CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Cato Corporation (NYSE: CATO) today reported sales for the five weeks ended January 2, 2010 of $104.1 million, an 8% increase over sales of $96.1 million for the five weeks ended January 3, 2009. Same-store sales for the month increased 7%.
Sales for the eleven months ended January 2, 2010 were $820.0 million, a 3% increase over sales of $793.3 million for the eleven months ended January 3, 2009. The Company's year-to-date same-store sales increased 2% from the prior year.
"December sales were favorably impacted by colder weather as compared to the prior year," stated John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. "As a result of the better than expected sales, we now estimate fourth quarter earnings will be in the range of $0.20 to $0.22 per diluted share versus our original guidance of $0.08 to $0.13 and $0.13 last year. The Company's estimate for the full year earnings per diluted share is a range of $1.51 to $1.53 vs. $1.01 last year, an increase of 50% to 51%."
The Company closed 23 stores during December.
As of January 2, 2010, the Company operated 1,270 stores in 31 states, compared to 1,281 stores in 31 states as of January 3, 2009.
The Cato Corporation is a leading specialty retailer of value-priced women's fashion apparel and accessories operating two divisions, "Cato" 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 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 or estimated financial results for the fourth quarter and full year and any related assumptions 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, including, but not limited to, the continuation or worsening of (i) the current adverse or recessionary conditions affecting the U.S. and global economies and consumer spending and (ii) the current adverse conditions in the U.S. and global credit markets; uncertainties regarding the impact of any governmental responses to the foregoing adverse economic and credit market 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, as amended or supplemented, 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