CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Cato Corp.'s second-quarter earnings fell 4 percent, as revenue slipped and the women's clothing retailer said customer uncertainty about the country's economy and political situation affected sales.
The Charlotte, N.C., company said Thursday that revenue from stores open at least a year was volatile in the first half of 2012, ultimately falling 3 percent compared with the previous year. That's a key gauge of retailer health because it excludes stores that recently opened or closed.
The company operated 1,295 stores in 31 states at the end of July. Its stores include Cato, Versona and It's Fashion.
In the quarter, Cato Corp. earned $17.3 million, or 59 cents per share, in the three months that ended July 28. That compares to earnings of $18.1 million, or 61 cents per share, in last year's quarter. Revenue fell 1 percent to $234.1 million.
The company's costs and expenses also dropped 1 percent to $206.4 million.
Cato expects revenue from stores open at least a year to range from a 2 percent drop to being flat in the third and fourth quarters. The company forecasts 2012 adjusted earnings per share to range from $2.18 to $2.27, compared with $2.21 per share reported last year.
It expects earnings of 12 cents to 17 cents per share in the third quarter and 38 cents to 42 cents in the fourth quarter.