Cato updates Q1 estimate following April sales surge

Although specialty retailer Cato had a rough March thanks to the shift of Easter from late March last year to mid-April this year, April was a whole other story.

The company reported sales of $93.5 million for the four weeks ended May 3, a 21% jump from sales of $77 million for the four weeks ended May 4, 2013. Same-store sales increased 18% for the month.

"April sales and the combined sales for March and April were above expectations," stated chairman, president and CEO John Cato. "We now expect first quarter earnings per diluted share will be in the range of $1.03 to $1.05 versus $1.05 last year and up from our previous guidance of $.89 to $.95.

The company will release first quarter results Tuesday, May 20.

During the month, the company opened four stores and closed two stores. New stores opened in Slidell, La., Easton, Md., Bay City, Mich., and Mitchell, S.D. As of May 3, the company operated 1,324 stores in 32 states, compared to 1,307 stores in 31 states as of May 4, 2013.

The Cato Corporation is a leading specialty retailer of value-priced fashion apparel and accessories operating three concepts: Cato, Versona and It's Fashion.



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