The Cato Corporation has reported a net loss of 3.6 million dollars or loss of 15 cents per diluted share for the third quarter ended October 31, 2020, compared to net income of 6 million dollars or 24 cents per diluted share for the third quarter ended November 2, 2019. The company said in a statement that sales for the quarter were 149.2 million dollars or a decrease of 21 percent, while the company’s same-store sales decreased 23 percent to the same period last year.
“Sales in the third quarter reflected continued softening of customer demand as Covid-19 cases continued to rise throughout our market areas and many people still have not returned to work. As we see this trend continuing, we anticipate that the remainder of the year will be challenging,” stated John Cato, the company’s Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer.
For the nine months, the company reported a net loss of 39.2 million dollars or loss of 1.64 dollars per diluted share compared to net income of 39.1 million dollars or 1.59 dollars per diluted share for the nine months ended November 2, 2019. Sales for the period were 414.3 million dollars, down 34 percent and year-to-date same-store sales decreased 35 percent.
For the quarter, gross margin decreased to 26.7 percent from 37.4 percent of sales the prior year, while year-to-date gross margin decreased to 21.4 percent of sales from 38.7 percent the prior year. During the third quarter ended October 31, 2020, the company opened 16 new stores, which had leases prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and permanently closed two stores. As of October 31, 2020, the company operated 1,347 stores in 33 states, compared to 1,298 stores in 31 states as of August 3, 2019.