Cato posts 18% rise in full-year earnings
Despite a fairly stagnant fourth quarter, Charlotte, North Carolina-based womenswear retailer The Cato Corporation announced solid growth in its full-year earnings for fiscal 2019 on Thursday.
The company’s annual earnings totaled $35.9 million, up 18% from $30.5 million in fiscal 2018, while diluted earnings per share were $1.46, increasing 19% from $1.23 per diluted.
This progress in Cato’s bottom line was achieved despite a 1% decrease in full-year sales, which totaled $816.2 million, falling from $821.1 million in the previous year. Same-store sales rose 2%.
For the fourth quarter ended February 1, 2020, the company reported a net loss of $3.2 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, flat compared to the prior-year period.
Quarterly sales were $188.4 million, falling 1% from $190.3 million in Q4 2018, while same-store sales increased 1%.
On Wednesday, Cato, which along with its namesake stores, also operates the It's Fashion, It's Fashion Metro and Versona banners, followed the lead of a number of U.S.-based retailers and announced the temporary closures of all of its stores as part of efforts to slow down the spread of Covid-19.
“We continue to assess the potential impact of the coronavirus, which remains uncertain at this time,” the company explained in a press release on Thursday. “Because of the uncertainties we are not providing a 2020 outlook or assumptions. There remains a high level of uncertainty over the extent of supply chain disruption, and as many other retailers, we are seeing the dramatic impact on our customers and are unsure how long this will continue.”
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