Cato Reports July Same Store Sales Down 3%

Reconfirms 2Q EPS Guidance

Aug 04, 2011, 07:00 ET from The Cato Corporation

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cato Corporation (NYSE: CATO) today reported sales of $63.0 million for the four weeks ended July 30, 2011, flat to sales of $62.9 million for the four weeks ended July 31, 2010.  Same-store sales for the month decreased 3%.

Sales for the second quarter ended July 30, 2011 were $234.1 million, a 1% increase over sales of $231.8 million for the second quarter ended July 31, 2010.  Second quarter same-store sales decreased 1%.

Sales for the first half were $505.0 million, a 3% increase over the prior year's first half sales of $490.9 million.  Same-store sales for the first half were flat to the prior year.

"July same-store sales reflect the difficult economic conditions and uncertainty affecting our customers, especially the lower income customer," commented John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer.  "We continue to expect second quarter earnings per diluted share to be in the range of $.57 to $.59 vs. $.58 last year."

The Company will release second quarter results on Thursday, August 18, 2011.

During the month the Company opened two stores and closed three stores.  New stores opened in Vidalia, GA and Marksville, LA.  As of July 30, 2011, The Cato Corporation operated 1,285 stores in 31 states, compared to 1,275 stores in 31 states as of July 31, 2010.  

The Cato Corporation is a leading specialty retailer of value-priced 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    

Statements in this press release not historical in nature including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company's expected financial results for the second 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.  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