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Cato Corp reports firm June sales

Jul '07
The Cato Corporation reported sales of $82.3 million for the five weeks ended July 7, 2007, a 2% increase over sales of $80.6 million for the five weeks ended July 1, 2006. Comparable store sales for the five-week period were flat to the prior year.

Sales for the twenty-two weeks ended July 7, 2007 were $382.4 million, flat compared to sales of $384.1 million for the twenty-two weeks ended July 1, 2006. The Company's year-to-date comparable store sales decreased 2%.

"Second quarter sales to date are at the high end of our estimate and markdowns have been less than anticipated," commented John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer.

"Inventory levels are on plan. We now expect second quarter earnings per diluted share to be in the range of $.35 to $.37 versus our previous guidance of $.27 to $.31 and $.38 last year, however; we have not changed our expectations for the last half of this year."

During the month of June, the Company opened 12 new stores, relocated three stores, and closed one store. New stores opened in Millbrook, AL, Pueblo West, CO, Hiram and Lovejoy, GA, Jerseyville, IL, West Des Moines, IA, Oak Grove, KY, Springfield, MO, Lebanon, OH, and Columbia (two stores) and Walterboro, SC.

The relocated stores were in Cleveland, MS (two stores) and Walterboro, SC. As of July 7, 2007, The Cato Corporation operated 1,301 stores in 31 states, compared to 1,259 stores in 31 states as of July 1, 2006.

The Cato Corporation

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