CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 23, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The Cato Corporation (NYSE: CATO) today reported net income of $11.0 million or $0.54 per diluted share for the first quarter ended May 4, 2024, compared to net income of $4.4 million or $0.22 per diluted share for the first quarter ended April 29, 2023. 

Sales for the first quarter ended May 4, 2024 were $175.3 million, or a decrease of 8% from sales of $190.3 million for the first quarter ended April 29, 2023.  The Company’s same-store sales for the quarter decreased 6%. 

“The pressure on our customers’ discretionary spending levels due to high interest rates and inflation continue to negatively impact our sales,” said John Cato, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “With the pressure on our customers’ discretionary spending levels, we remain cautious about the remainder of the year.”

First quarter gross margin as a percentage of sales was 35.8% in both 2024 and 2023. Selling, General and Administrative expense decreased to $56.8 million in 2024 from $61.9 million in 2023 due to decreases in equity compensation, advertising, and store expenses including payroll, partially offset by increases in insurance expenses.  Selling, General and Administrative expense as a percentage of sales decreased to 32.4% in 2024 compared to 32.5% in 2023.  Interest and other income increased to $5.8 million in 2024 from $0.9 million in 2023 primarily due to a net gain on sale of land of $3.2 million.  Income tax expense for the quarter decreased to $0.6 million in 2024 from $2.1 million in 2023.  The decrease in tax expense is primarily due to valuation allowances against net deferred tax assets and the impact of the foreign rate differential and lower state income taxes.

Additionally, the Company bought back 431,415 shares during the quarter. 

During the first quarter ended May 4, 2024, the Company did not open any stores and permanently closed seven stores.  As of May 4, 2024, the Company operated 1,171 stores in 31 states, compared to 1,264 stores in 32 states as of April 29, 2023. 

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 www.catofashions.com.  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 www.shopversona.com.  It’s Fashion offers fashion with a focus on the latest trendy styles for the entire family at low prices every day.

Statements in this press release that express a belief, expectation or intention, as well as those that are not a historical fact, including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company’s expected or estimated operational financial results, activities or opportunities, and potential impacts and effects of interest rates, inflation or other factors that may affect our customers’ discretionary spending or our costs 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, any actual or perceived deterioration in, or continuation of negative trends in, the conditions that drive consumer confidence and spending, including, but not limited to, prevailing social, economic, political and public health conditions and uncertainties, levels of unemployment, fuel, energy and food costs, inflation, wage rates, tax rates, interest rates, home values, consumer net worth and the availability of credit; changes in laws, regulations or government policies affecting our business including but not limited to tariffs; uncertainties regarding the impact of any governmental action regarding, or responses to, the foregoing conditions; competitive factors and pricing pressures; our ability to predict and respond to rapidly changing fashion trends and consumer demands; our ability to successfully implement our new store development strategy to increase new store openings and the ability of any such new stores to grow and perform as expected; underperformance or other factors that may lead to, or affect the volume of, store closures; adverse weather, public health threats (including the global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak), acts of war or aggression or similar conditions that may affect our merchandise supply chain, sales or operations; inventory risks due to shifts in market demand, including the ability to liquidate excess inventory at anticipated margins; adverse developments or volatility affecting the financial services industry or broader financial markets; 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.

THE CATO CORPORATION








CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME (UNAUDITED)




FOR THE PERIODS ENDED MAY 4, 2024 AND APRIL 29, 2023





(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)
















Quarter Ended










May 4,

%


April 29,

%


2024

Sales


2023

Sales









REVENUES








  Retail sales

$

175,272

100.0 %


$

190,311

100.0 %

  Other revenue (principally finance,








    late fees and layaway charges)


1,827

1.0 %



1,739

0.9 %









    Total revenues


177,099

101.0 %



192,050

100.9 %









GROSS MARGIN (Memo)


62,767

35.8 %



68,224

35.8 %









COSTS AND EXPENSES, NET








  Cost of goods sold


112,505

64.2 %



122,087

64.2 %

  Selling, general and administrative


56,752

32.4 %



61,934

32.5 %

  Depreciation


2,040

1.2 %



2,357

1.2 %

  Interest and other income


(5,821)

-3.3 %



(897)

-0.5 %









    Costs and expenses, net


165,476

94.4 %



185,481

97.5 %

















Income Before Income Taxes


11,623

6.6 %



6,569

3.5 %









Income Tax Expense


649

0.4 %



2,141

1.1 %









Net Income 

$

10,974

6.3 %


$

4,428

2.3 %

















Basic Earnings Per Share

$

0.54



$

0.22


















Diluted Earnings Per Share

$

0.54



$

0.22


THE CATO CORPORATION







CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS 





(Dollars in thousands)















May 4,



February 3,


2024



2024


(Unaudited)



(Unaudited)








ASSETS







Current Assets







  Cash and cash equivalents

$

39,101



$

23,940

  Short-term investments


66,250




79,012

  Restricted cash


3,533




3,973

  Accounts receivable – net


31,716




29,751

  Merchandise inventories


101,317




98,603

  Other current assets


7,724




7,783








Total Current Assets


249,641




243,062








Property and Equipment – net


64,568




64,022








Other Assets


23,305




25,047








Right-of-Use Assets, net


139,635




154,686








      TOTAL

$

477,149



$

486,817








LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY












Current Liabilities

$

127,997



$

126,900








Current Lease Liability


55,800




61,108








Noncurrent Liabilities


14,607




14,475








Lease Liability


81,834




92,013








Stockholders’ Equity


196,911




192,321








      TOTAL

$

477,149



$

486,817

SOURCE The Cato Corporation

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cato-reports-1q-earnings-302153715.html
Some images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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