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THE CATO CORPORATION REPORTS FISCAL 1992 INCOME BEFORE EXTRAORDINARY ITEM UP 101 PERCENT AND NET INCOME FOR THE 4TH QUARTER UP 226 PERCENT

 CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cato Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: CACOA) today reported a record $19.1 million income before extraordinary item, or $1.10 per primary and $1.07 per fully diluted share, for fiscal 1992 (52 weeks ended Jan. 30, 1993), an increase of 101 percent from $9.5 million, or $.65 per share, for fiscal 1991 (52 weeks ended Feb. 1, 1992). During the 2nd quarter of 1992, an extraordinary charge of $0.657 million, or $.04 per share, resulted from the early retirement of subordinated debentures. Therefore, net income available to shareholders, after the extraordinary charge, was $18.5 million, or $1.06 per primary and $1.03 per fully diluted share, for fiscal 1992. The Company's sales for fiscal 1992 were $331.3 million compared to $265.1 million for the prior year, an increase of 25.0 percent. Same-store sales, or sales of stores open for more than one year, increased 18.6 percent for fiscal 1992, which follows a 19.9 percent increase in fiscal 1991.
 For the fourth quarter endJ?an. 30, 1993, net income was $5.2 million, or $.28 per share, an increase of 226 percent over fiscal 1991's fourth quarter net income of $1.6 million, or $.11 per share. Sales of $100.8 million for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 30, 1993 were 28.5 percent greater than sales of $78.5 million for the like period in fiscal 1991. Same-store sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 1992 increased 17.5 percent which follows a 33.9 percent same-store sales increase for the comparable period in fiscal 1991.
 Cato's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Wayland H. Cato, Jr., said, "We are quite pleased with our results for 1992. We believe that we are well positioned for 1993 to deliver continued above average increases in sales and earnings. Our plan is to accelerate selling square footage growth to an 18 percent increase for 1993, mainly by opening 85 new stores."
 The Cato Corporation is a women's apparel specialty retailer operating under the names "Cato Fashions/Cato Plus," and "It's Fashion!" in 22 states. As of Jan. 30, 1993, The Cato Corporation operated 505 stores compared to 487 stores at Feb. 1, 1992. The Company's shares are traded on the NASDAQ National Market System under the symbol CACOA.
 THE CATO CORPORATION
 Summary of Financial Results
 (In millions, except per share amounts)
 Fiscal Year Ended
 Jan. 30, 1993 Feb. 1, 1992
 Total Revenues $340.8 $273.8
 Cost of Goods Sold, Buying,
 Occupancy and Distribution 220.7 180.6
 Selling, general and
 administrative 85.0 70.5
 Depreciation 4.1 4.3
 Interest 1.2 3.3
 Income before extraordinary item 19.1 9.5
 Net income 18.5 9.5
 Earnings per share
 Primary:
 Income before extraordinary item $1.10 $ 0.65
 Extraordinary item (loss) (.04) 0.00
 Net income $1.06 $ 0.65
 Fully Diluted:
 Income before extraordinary item $1.07 $0.65
 Extraordinary item (loss) (.04) 0.00
 Net income $1.03 $0.65
 Average Shares - Primary 17,341,759 14,709,712
 - Fully Diluted 17,889,900 14,709,712
 Fourth Quarter
 13 Weeks Ended 13 Weeks Ended
 Jan. 30, 1993 Feb. 1, 1992
 Total Revenues $103.4 $ 80.8
 Cost of Goods Sold, Buying,
 Occupancy and Distribution 70.0 58.3
 Selling, general and administrative 24.6 18.5
 Depreciation 1.1 .9
 Interest -- 1.0
 Net income 5.2 1.6
 Earnings per share $ 0.28 $ 0.11
 Average Shares 18,631,335 14,782,812
 -0- 3/16/93
 /CONTACT: V. Hollis Scott, Senior Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary, The Cato Corporation, 704-551-7266/
 (CACOA)


CO: The Cato?rporation ST: North Carolina IN: REA SU: ERN

CM-MM -- CH001 -- 6403 03/16/93 09:07 EST
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Date:Mar 16, 1993
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