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Cato Reports April Same-Store Sales Down 3%

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Updates 1Q EPS Estimate

CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cato Corporation (NYSE: CATO) today reported sales of $81.9 million for the four weeks ended April 30, 2016, a 3% decrease from sales of $84.1 million for the four weeks ended May 2, 2015.  Same-store sales decreased 3% for the month.

Sales for the first quarter ended April 30, 2016 were $285.5 million, a 1% increase from sales of $281.6 million for the first quarter ended May 2, 2015.  Same-store sales for the first quarter were flat.

April sales were impacted by the shift of Easter from early April last year to mid-March this year.  Because of this shift, the best measure for performance is the combined sales for the two months, which were flat overall and decreased 2% to the prior year on a same-store basis.

"We now expect first quarter earnings per diluted share will be in the range of $1.23 to $1.27 versus $1.11 last year.  The increase in earnings per diluted share is primarily due to favorable adjustments to the effective tax rate as a result of tax initiatives," stated John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. 

The Company will release first quarter results on Thursday, May 19, 2016.

During the month of April, the Company opened one store and relocated one store.  A new store opened in Wauwatosa, WI and a store relocated in Mobile, AL.   As of April 30, 2016, the Company operated 1,372 stores in 32 states, compared to 1,352 stores in 32 states as of May 2, 2015.

The Cato Corporation is a leading specialty retailer of value-priced fashion apparel and accessories operating three concepts, "Cato", "Versona" and "It's Fashion".  The Company's Cato stores offer exclusive merchandise with fashion and quality comparable to mall specialty stores at low prices every day.  The Company also offers exclusive merchandise found in its Cato stores at www.catofashions.com.  Versona is a unique fashion destination offering apparel and accessories including jewelry, handbags and shoes at exceptional prices every day.  Select Versona merchandise can also be found at www.shopversona.com.  It's Fashion offers fashion with a focus on the latest trendy styles for the entire family at low prices every day.  Additional information on The Cato Corporation is available at www.catocorp.com.

Statements in this press release not historical in nature including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company's expected or estimated financial results are considered "forward-looking" within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations that are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements.  Such factors include, but are not limited to, the following: general economic conditions; competitive factors and pricing pressures; the Company's ability to predict fashion trends; consumer apparel buying patterns; adverse weather conditions and inventory risks due to shifts in market demand and other factors discussed under "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of the Company's most recently filed annual report on Form 10-K and in other reports the Company files with or furnishes to the SEC from time to time.  The Company does not undertake to publicly update or revise the forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that the projected results expressed or implied therein will not be realized. The Company is not responsible for any changes made to this press release by wire or Internet services.

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SOURCE The Cato Corporation

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