Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cato (NYSE: CATO) June same-store sales down 10 percent

Cato (NYSE: CATO) June same-store sales down 10 percentNorthern, WI 7/5/12 (StreetBeat) – The Cato Corp. (NYSE: CATO) said Thursday that sales at stores open at least a year fell 10 percent in June, driven by bad weather and continued economic uncertainty.

That was well below what Wall Street expected. Analysts polled by FactSet forecast flat same-store sales. The metric is an important one for retailers because it measures sales at existing stores rather than newly opened ones.

Aside from May's results, boosted by a comparison to weakness last year, Cato's same-store sales have fallen every month since last April.

Total sales during the month were down 7 percent to $83.7 million.

Cato expects skittish consumers to hurt results for the rest of the year. It now expects to hit the low end of its previous earnings outlook in the second quarter, between 53 to 57 cents per share. That's 7 to 13 percent lower than the second quarter of last year.

Cato operates clothing and accessories stores under the Cato, Versona and It's Fashion names.

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