The Cato Corporation reported sales of $93.5 million for the four weeks ended May 3, 2014, a 21% increase from sales of $77.0 million for the four weeks ended May 4, 2013. Same-store sales increased 18% for the month.
Sales for the first quarter ended May 3, 2014 were $282.5 million, a 6% increase from sales of $267.2 million for the first quarter ended May 4, 2013. Same-store sales for the first quarter increased 3%.
The shift of Easter from late March last year to mid-April this year favorably impacted April sales, while March sales were unfavorably impacted. Because of this shift, the best measure for performance is the combined sales for the two months, which increased 7% overall and were up 5% to the prior year on a same-store basis.
"April sales and the combined sales for March and April were above expectations," stated John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. "We now expect first quarter earnings per diluted share will be in the range of $1.03 to $1.05 versus $1.05 last year and up from our previous guidance of $.89 to $.95.
During the month of April, the Company opened four stores and closed two stores. New stores opened in Slidell, LA, Easton, MD, Bay City, MI and Mitchell, SD. As of May 3, 2014, the Company operated 1,324 stores in 32 states, compared to 1,307 stores in 31 states as of May 4, 2013.
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 www.catofashions.com. 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.