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CATO REPORTS THIRD QUARTER NET INCOME UP 157 PERCENT ON REVENUE INCREASE OF 34 PERCENT

 CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 17 ~PRNewswire~ -- The Cato Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: CACOA) today reported a record net income of $3,457,000, or $.19 per primary and fully diluted share, for the third quarter and $13,265,000, or $.78 per primary and $.76 per fully diluted share, for the first nine months of 1992 (year-to-date net income reflects the reduction of an extraordinary item of $657,000 or $.04 per share). Last year, net income was $1,343,000 ($.09 per share) for the third quarter and $7,920,000 ($.54 per share) for the first nine months.
 For the three months and nine months ended Oct. 31, 1992, total revenues were $80.0 million and $237.4 million, respectively, compared to $59.5 million and $193.0 million for the same periods in the prior year. Same-store sales were up 26 percent and 19 percent for the third quarter and nine months, respectively, compared with same-store sales increases of 16 percent and 15 percent for the same periods of 1991.
 Wayland H. Cato, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, remarked, "Our record earnings for the third quarter and year to date reflect the results of our merchandising focus on identifying and satisfying the fashion desires of our customers, our sales associates providing superior customer service, and our sales support staff maintaining a lean and effective overhead cost structure. The thrust of all merchandising and marketing activities will be to continue to increase market share while maintaining the quality of our margins. The Company's inventory levels and markdowns remain on plan.
 "Our store development program for 1992 will be complete by the end of this month and we will have opened 45 new stores, relocated 25 and expanded 14 units, and closed 17 stores. The new, relocated and expanded stores are performing better than our plans. Cato is positioned with a unique niche, a successful customer focused strategy and a team of outstanding sales associates to execute continued growth in sales and profits for the balance of this year."
 The Cato Corporation is a women's apparel specialty retailer operating
under the names "Cato Fashion~Cato Plus" and "It's Fashion!" in 23 states. As of October 31, 1992, The Cato Corporation operated


503 stores compared to 492 stores at Nov. 2, 1991. 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)
 Three Months Ended
 Oct. 31, 1992 Nov. 2, 1991
 Total Revenues $80.0 $59.5
 Cost of Goods Sold,
 Buying, Occupancy
 and Distribution 51.7 39.2
 Selling, general and
 administrative 21.7 16.2
 Depreciation 1.0 1.1
 Interest .1 .8
 Net income 3.5 1.3
 Earnings per share:
 Primary and Fully
 Diluted $.19 $.09
 Net income $.19 $.09
 Nine Months Ended
 Oct. 31, 1992 Nov. 2, 1991
 Total Revenues $237.4 $193.0
 Cost of Goods Sold,
 Buying, Occupancy
 and Distribution 150.6 122.3
 Selling, general and
 administrative 60.4 52.0
 Depreciation 3.1 3.4
 Interest 1.2 2.5
 Income before
 extraordinary item 13.9 7.9
 Net income 13.3 7.9
 Earnings per share:
 Primary:
 Income before
 extraordinary item $.82 $.54
 Extraordinary item
 (loss) (.04) --
 Net income $.78 $.54
 Fully diluted:
 Income before
 extraordinary item $.80 $.54
 Extraordinary item
 (loss) (.04) --
 Net income $.76 $.54
 -0- 11~17~92
 ~CONTACT: V. Hollis Scott, Senior Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary, The Cato Corporation, 704-551-7266~
 (CACOA)


CO: The Cato Corporation ST: North Carolina IN: REA SU: ERN

CM-MM -- CH002 -- 1689 11~17~92 09:03 EST
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Date:Nov 17, 1992
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