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Cato Corp. 3Q net income up 123 percent

Cato Corp., a Charlotte-based women’s specialty retailer, today reported net income of $6.7 million for the third quarter, a 123 percent increase over net income of $3 million for the third quarter of 2009.

Sales during the quarter increased 4 percent over the same period in 2009, from $191 million to $198 million. Same-store sales increased 2 percent over the period and 4 percent year to date.

Cato’s net income for first three quarters of 2010 was $49.8 million, up 29 percent from $38.5 million in the same period last year.

Earnings per diluted share were $1.69 compared with $1.31 last year, an increase of 29 percent.

Though CEO John Cato praised the strong sales, he said he was uncertain about the economic outlook for the fourth quarter.

The company is maintaining its original earnings guidance of 25 to 28 cents per diluted share versus 25 cents last year. For the year, the company expects earnings per share of $1.94 to $1.97 versus $1.55 last year.

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