The Cato Corp. saw a nearly 50 percent gain in profits in the third quarter as John Cato, chairman, president and chief executive officer cited “recently strong sales trends.”

Net income gained 46.2 percent to $8.3 million, or 30 cents a share, from $5.7 million, or 20 cents, a year earlier. While part of those gains were attributable to a favorable tax adjustment, the company also logged a 4.4 percent rise in revenues, to $225.5 million from $216 million, for the three months ended Oct. 31.

The retailer sees fourth-quarter earnings per share at the lower end of its original guidance of 35 cents to 39 cents.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based value retailer has 1,343 stores and is on track to open a total of 31 doors this year. That’s down from the prior estimate of 40, which the company attributed to “a lack of shopping center development and increased competition for available space.”

Earlier, the company saw 45 new stores this year.

Shares of the company inched up 2.8 percent to $38.51 in early trading on Wall Street Thursday.

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