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Cato updates Q4 & 2007 EPS estimate
Jan '08
The Cato Corporation reported sales for the five weeks ended January 5, 2008 of $94.6 million, a 6% decrease from sales of $100.5 million for the five weeks ended December 30, 2006. Comparable store sales for the month decreased 8% from last year.

Sales for the eleven months ended January 5, 2008 were $778.0 million, a 2% decrease from sales of $793.5 million for the eleven months ended December 30, 2006. The Company's year-to-date comparable store sales decreased 4% from the prior year.

"December sales reflect the continuing weak and difficult retail environment that we face," commented John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer.

"We now expect estimated fourth quarter results will be at the low end of our previous guidance of a loss of ($0.08) to $0.00 per diluted share versus $0.40 last year based on comparable store sales for the quarter of down 8% to down 6%.

Similarly for the year, earnings per diluted share are estimated to be at the low end of the range of $0.99 to $1.07 versus $1.62 last year."

The Company's fourth quarter includes 13 weeks compared to 14 weeks in 2006 and the fiscal year includes 52 weeks compared to 53 weeks in 2006. During the month of December, the Company opened a store in Natchitoches, LA and closed 15 stores.

As of January 5, 2008, the Company operated 1,314 stores in 32 states, compared to 1,273 stores in 31 states as of December 30, 2006.

The Cato Corporation

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