CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) ¿ Women's apparel retailer Cato Corp. said Thursday it posted a profit in its fourth quarter, helped by lower costs and expenses.

For the quarter ended Jan. 31, the company posted a profit of 3.9 million, or 13 cents per share, after a loss of $1.8 million, or 6 cents per share in the prior year quarter.

Revenue was basically flat at $212.2 million, compared with $212.4 million in last year's fourth quarter.

Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, fell 3 percent.

Costs and expenses fell 4 percent due primarily to lower costs of goods sold.

For the year, net income rose to $33.6 million, or $1.15 per share, from $32.3 million, or $1.03 per share in 2007.

Revenue rose to $857.7 million from $846.4 million.

Cato said it was able to manage its inventory and control its costs throughout the year, partly by closing 102 stores.

The company also said it expects to report earnings per share of 98 cents to $1.17 in 2009 and earnings of 49 cents to 54 cents in the first quarter.

Shares fell 4 cents to $16.24 in afternoon trading.
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