Cato earnings drop 9% in first quarter
Charlotte, North Carolina-based womenswear retailer The Cato Corporation reported a reduced net income of $21.3 million ($0.87 per diluted share) for the first quarter of 2019 on Thursday, with declines registered in both net and same-store sales.
This quarterly net income represents a 9% decrease when compared to the total of $23.4 million ($0.94 per diluted share) reported in the prior-year period.
Overall, the company’s net sales for the first quarter were $228.1 million, down 3% from $236.0 million in Q1 2018, while same-store sales decreased 1%.
Despite these declines, the retailer’s chairman, president and CEO, John Cato stated in a release that he is “cautiously optimistic,” explaining, "We are starting to see slightly more favorable sales trends and continue to believe our business has stabilized.”
Previously, Cato reported strong sales of $81.5 million in April, representing a 14% increase from $71.8 million in the prior-year period. Same-store sales also rose 16% in the month, reflecting the positive impact of Easter’s shift from March to April. Taken together, sales for the two months were flat, while same-store sales increased 3%.
The Cato Corporation, which offers value-priced women’s apparel and accessories through its Cato, Versona and It’s Fashion brands, closed 9 stores over the course of the first quarter and currently operates a total of 1,302 retail locations in 31 states, down from 1,351 in 33 states at the end of the first quarter of 2018.
The retailer also runs two branded e-commerce platforms under its Cato and Versona banners.
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