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Women's apparel store Cato Corp confirms EPS up 31% in Q2

17
Aug '05
Women's fashion apparel specialty store The Cato Corporation reported net income of $10.7 million or $.34 per diluted share for the second quarter ended July 30, 2005, compared to net income of $8.1 million or $.26 per diluted share for the second quarter ended July 31, 2004. Net income increased 32% and earnings per diluted share increased 31% from last year. Sales for the second quarter were $208.3 million, a 6% increase over sales of $197.1 million last year. The Company's second quarter comparable store sales were flat to the prior year.

The Company's previous estimate of second quarter earnings per diluted share was $.30 to $.31.

For the six months ended July 30, 2005, the Company earned net income of $29.1 million or $.92 per diluted share, compared with net income of $24.9 million or $.80 per diluted share for the six months ended July 31, 2004, a net income increase of 17% and a per diluted share increase of 15%. Sales for the first half of 2005 were $423.4 million, a 5% increase over sales of $402.3 million in the first half of 2004. Comparable store sales for the first half were flat to the prior year.

"The second quarter earnings improvement was primarily a result of higher merchandise gross margin due to better sell through of regular priced merchandise," said John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. "In July, they successfully implemented a new warehouse management system. This paperless, radio frequency based systemwill improve accuracy, reduce costs, and speed the flow of merchandise to stores."


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