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CATO Dividend Yield Pushes Above 4%

By Dividend Channel Staff, Friday, August 19, 3:10 PM ET
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In trading on Friday, shares of Cato Corp. (NYSE:CATO) were yielding above the 4% mark based on its quarterly dividend (annualized to $0.92), with the stock changing hands as low as $22.84 on the day. Dividends are particularly important for investors to consider, because historically speaking dividends have provided a considerable share of the stock market's total return. To illustrate, suppose for example you purchased shares of the iShares Russell 3000 ETF (IWV) back on 5/31/2000 you would have paid $78.27 per share. Fast forward to 5/31/2011 and each share was worth $80.78 on that date, a mere $2.51 or 3.2% increase over eleven years. But now consider that you collected a whopping $9.69 per share in dividends over the same period, increasing your return to 20.27%. Even with dividends reinvested, that only amounts to an average annual total return of about 1.7%; so by comparison collecting a yield above 4% would appear considerably attractive if that yield is sustainable. Cato Corp. (NYSE:CATO) is a member of the Russell 3000, giving it special status as one of the largest 3000 companies on the U.S. stock markets.

In general, dividend amounts are not always predictable and tend to follow the ups and downs of profitability at each company. In the case of Cato Corp., looking at the history chart for CATO below can help in judging whether the most recent dividend is likely to continue, and in turn whether it is a reasonable expectation to expect a 4% annual yield.

CATO Dividend History
Date Div*
06/09/11 0.230
03/03/11 0.185
12/16/10 0.185
09/09/10 0.185
06/10/10 0.185
03/04/10 0.165
12/17/09 0.165
09/10/09 0.165
06/04/09 0.165
03/05/09 0.165
12/18/08 0.165
09/11/08 0.165
06/05/08 0.165
03/06/08 0.165
12/20/07 0.165
09/06/07 0.165
06/07/07 0.165
03/08/07 0.150
12/14/06 0.150
09/07/06 0.150
06/08/06 0.150
03/09/06 0.130
12/15/05 0.130
09/08/05 0.130
06/09/05 0.195
03/10/05 0.175
12/16/04 0.175
09/09/04 0.175
06/10/04 0.175
03/11/04 0.160
12/18/03 0.160
09/11/03 0.160
06/05/03 0.160
03/13/03 0.150
12/19/02 0.150
09/12/02 0.150
06/06/02 0.150
03/07/02 0.135
12/20/01 0.135
06/07/01 0.135
03/15/01 0.125
12/20/00 0.125
09/07/00 0.100
06/08/00 0.100
03/09/00 0.100
12/16/99 0.075
09/09/99 0.075
06/03/99 0.055
03/11/99 0.055
12/17/98 0.050
09/10/98 0.050
05/28/98 0.045
03/12/98 0.045
12/18/97 0.040
09/11/97 0.040
05/29/97 0.040
03/13/97 0.040
12/19/96 0.040
09/12/96 0.040
05/30/96 0.040
03/14/96 0.040
12/14/95 0.040
09/07/95 0.040
* Data may be adjusted for splits; we are not responsible for data errors; always verify data with the company.

According to the ETF Finder at ETF Channel, CATO makes up 1.14% of the S&P SmallCap Consumer Discretionary Portfolio ETF (NASDAQ:PSCD) which is trading relatively unchanged on the day Friday.

See what other ETFs contain CATO
See what other stocks are held by PSCD

CATO operates in the Apparel Stores sector, among companies like The Gap, Inc. (NYSE:GPS) which is up about 2% today, and Limited Brands Inc. (LTD) trading lower by about 0.9%. Below is a three month price history chart comparing the stock performance of CATO, versus GPS and LTD.

CATO,GPS,LTD Relative Performance Chart


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