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Cato Reports January Same-Store Sales Down 6%

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Updates 4Q and Full Year EPS Guidance

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cato Corporation (NYSE: CATO) today reported sales for the five weeks ended February 3, 2018 of $54.2 million, a 19% increase from sales of $45.5 million for the four week period ended January 28, 2017.  The fiscal year ended February 3, 2018 contains 53 weeks versus 52 weeks in fiscal year ended January 28, 2017 and January 2018 contains five weeks versus four weeks in January 2017.  On a comparable five-week basis, total sales decreased 7% and same-store sales for the month decreased 6%.

Sales for fiscal fourth quarter ended February 3, 2018 were $211.1 million, a decrease of 3% over sales of $218.2 million for the fourth quarter ended January 28, 2017.  On a comparable 14-week basis, total sales for the quarter decreased 8% and comparable store sales decreased 8% from last year.  For the year, the Company's sales decreased 11% to $842.1 million from 2017 sales of $947.4 million.  On a comparable 53-week basis, total sales for the fiscal year ended February 3, 2018 decreased 12% and comparable store sales decreased 12% from last year.

"The January same store sales decline is consistent with our recent trend," stated John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer.  "Based on further clarification from the FASB regarding the required adjustments due to the implementation of the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017", we have updated our guidance for 2017.  We now expect the fourth quarter earnings to be a loss of between $.55 and $.65 versus a loss of $.48 last year.  This includes our revised estimate of a one-time tax expense of between $.40 and $.50 as a result of the implementation of the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017".  This non cash expense is comprised of two items.  The first is the deemed repatriation charge due to our foreign operations.  The second is the recalculation of deferred tax assets, which was understated in the December sales release but is now updated due to further clarification.  The Company's estimate for full year earnings per diluted share is in the range of $.30 to $.40 versus $1.72 last year."

The Company will release fourth quarter and fiscal year 2017 earnings on Thursday, March 22, 2018.

During January, the Company closed four stores.  During the fourth quarter, the Company closed nineteen stores.  For the fiscal year ended February 3, 2018, the Company opened six stores, relocated three stores and closed twenty six stores.  As of February 3, 2018, the Company operated 1,351 stores in 33 states, compared to 1,371 stores in 33 states as of January 28, 2017. 

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.

Statements in this press release not historical in nature including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company's expected or estimated operational and 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: any actual or perceived deterioration in the conditions that drive consumer confidence and spending, including, but not limited to, levels of unemployment, fuel, energy and food costs, wage rates, tax rates, home values, consumer net worth and the availability of credit; uncertainties regarding the impact of any governmental responses to the foregoing conditions; changes in laws or regulations affecting our business; competitive factors and pricing pressures; our ability to predict and respond to rapidly changing fashion trends and consumer demands; adverse weather or similar conditions that may affect our sales or operations; inventory risks due to shifts in market demand, including the ability to liquidate excess inventory at anticipated margins; 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.

Cision View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cato-reports-january-same-store-sales-down-6-300595408.html

SOURCE The Cato Corporation

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