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Cato Reports January Same-Store Sales Down 15%

Reaffirms 4Q and Full Year EPS Estimate


CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cato Corporation (NYSE: CATO) today reported sales of $45.5 million for the four weeks ended January 28, 2017, a decrease of 14% from sales of $52.9 million for the four weeks ended January 30, 2016.  Same-store sales for the month decreased 15% from last year.

Sales for fiscal fourth quarter ended January 28, 2017 were $218.2 million, a decrease of 12% from sales of $247.3 million for the fourth quarter ended January 30, 2016.  For the quarter, same-store sales decreased 12% from last year.  For the year, the Company's sales decreased 5% to $947.4 million from 2015 sales of $1,001.4 million.  For the year, same-store sales decreased 6% from last year.

"Unfortunately, January same-store sales results continued at our current trend," stated John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer.  "We continue to expect diluted fourth quarter EPS results will be within our previous range of a loss of $0.50 to a loss of $0.54 versus a gain of $0.42 last year.  For the year, we continue to expect diluted EPS results will be within the range of $1.66 to $1.70 versus $2.39 last year."

The Company will release fourth quarter and fiscal year 2016 earnings on Thursday, March 16, 2017.

During January, the Company opened three stores and relocated one store.  The three new stores opened in Fort Worth, TX, Washington, NC and Prattville, AL.  During the fourth quarter, the Company opened five stores, relocated two stores and closed six stores.  For the fiscal year ended January 28, 2017, the Company opened eight stores, relocated six stores and closed nine stores.  As of January 28, 2017, the Company operated 1,371 stores in 33 states, compared to 1,372 stores in 32 states as of January 30, 2016. 

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  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  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

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, 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.

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SOURCE The Cato Corporation

John R. Howe, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, 704-551-7315