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Cato Corporation net income grows 29% in 2005

Mar '06
Fashion retailer Cato Corporation has reported net income for the fourth quarter and year ended January 28th 2006.

For the fourth quarter 2005, net income was $11.6 million or $.37 per diluted share. Fourth quarter 2005 net income increased 44 percent and earnings per diluted share increased 42 percent versus fourth quarter 2004.

Full year 2005 net income was $44.8 million or $1.41 per diluted share. Full year 2005 net income increased 29 percent and earnings per diluted share increased 27 percent versus 2004.

Sales for the fourth quarter were $220.5 million, as compared to sales of $207.9 million for the fourth quarter last year. Total sales for the fourth quarter increased 6 percent and comparable store sales increased 2 percent.

Sales for the year were $821.6 million as compared to 2004 sales of $773.8 million. For the year, total sales increased 6 percent and comparable store sales increased 1 percent.

John Cato, Chairman, President and CEO said, "The increase in our 2005 results was primarily driven by better margins."

"In 2006 we will continue to grow our business by executing our long term strategies of improving the merchandise and customer service, strengthening the infrastructure, and expanding the store base," he said.

The company estimates comparable store sales to be in the range of flat to up 2 percent for the full year 2006 and the first quarter. It estimates 2006 net income to be in the range of $46.4 to $49.3 million, an increase of 4 to 10 percent, and 2006 earnings per diluted share to be in the range of $1.46 to $1.55, an increase of 4 to 10 percent.

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