Cato December SSS -7%, Lowers Q4 EPS Guidance
The Cato Corporation (NYSE: CATO) today reported sales for the five weeks ended December 29, 2012 of $103.3 million, a 4% decrease from sales of $107.5 million for the five weeks ended December 31, 2011. Same-store sales for the month decreased 7%.
Sales for the eleven months ended December 29, 2012 were $870.0 million, flat to sales of $870.2 million for the eleven months ended December 31, 2011. The Company's year-to-date same-store sales decreased 3%.
"December same-store sales results were well below expectations and our year-to-date trend," commented John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. "We now expect that fourth quarter earnings per diluted share will be within the range of $0.34 to $0.36, versus our original guidance of $.38 to $.42 and $0.35 last year. The Company's estimate for full year earnings per diluted share is now in the range of $2.17 to $2.19 vs. our most recent guidance of $2.22 to $2.26 and $2.21 last year."
The Company's earnings guidance for the fourth quarter and year now reflects the estimated tax benefit of the extension of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit by The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.
Also, the Company's fourth