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Cato reaffirms previous Q3 guidance
Oct '08
The Cato Corporation reported sales of $64.8 million for the five weeks ended October 4, 2008, a decrease of 2% from sales of $65.8 million for the five weeks ended October 6, 2007. Comparable store sales for the five-week period decreased 3% from the prior year.

Sales for the thirty-five weeks ended October 4, 2008 were $577.1 million, an increase of 2% from sales of $568.1 million for the thirty-five weeks ended October 6, 2007. The Company's year-to-date comparable store sales decreased 1%.

"September sales were negatively impacted by hurricanes in the gulf coast states early in the month but still reflect the continuing economic situation," stated John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer.

"Inventory is in line with our sales trend. We remain comfortable with our previous guidance of third quarter earnings per diluted share in the range of ($0.05) to $0.00 versus $0.09 last year."

During the month of September, the Company opened nine new stores, relocated one store, and closed four stores. New stores opened in Little Rock and Magnolia, AR, Cleveland, MS, Columbia, MO (2 stores), Kannapolis, NC, Madison, OH, San Angelo, TX, and Portsmouth, VA.

The relocated store is in Dillon, SC. As of October 4, 2008, The Cato Corporation operated 1,297 stores in 31 states, compared to 1,309 stores in 31 states as of October 6, 2007.

The Cato Corporation is a leading specialty retailer of value-priced women's fashion apparel 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.

Cato Corporation

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