Cato stock surges toward 15-month high after swinging to profit, reinstating dividend

Shares of Cato Corp. leapt 10.1% toward a 15-month high in afternoon trading Thursday, after the fashion apparel and accessories retailer swung to a fiscal first-quarter profit on revenue that more than doubled, and said it will reinstate a quarterly dividend. The company reported before the open net income for the quarter to May 1 of $20.7 million, or 92 cents a share, after a loss of $28.4 million, or $1.19 a share, in the year-ago period. Total revenue jumped 111.5% to $213.1 million. Gross margin improving to 41.5% of sales from 15.4%, boosted by higher merchandising margins. Separately, the company said it will pay a quarterly dividend of 11 cents a share, payable June 21 to shareholders of record on June 7. The last time Cato paid a dividend was March 6, 2020, when it paid a quarterly dividend of 33 cents a share. At current stock prices, the annual dividend rate implies a dividend yield of 2.81%, compared with the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.41%. The stock has rallied 63.2% year to date, while the S&P 500 has advanced 10.8%.

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