HHGregg and Retailers and Retail and Real Estate & Retail

HHGregg profit falls on sinking same-store sales

January 31, 2013
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HHGregg Inc. profit fell 23 percent in its fiscal third quarter as slumping demand for televisions caused same-store sales to drop.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, the Indianapolis-based appliance and electronics retailer said Thursday morning that profit decreased to $17.4 million, or 51 cents per share. The company earned $22.5 million, or 60 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2011.

HHGregg attributed the decline to a nearly 10-percent decline in same-store sales, driven by a 25-percent drop in television sales.

The decline in same-store sales was partially offset by an increase in sales of appliances, computers and mobile phones, the company said. Same-store sales figures are a key metric of a retailer’s health.

HHGregg said same-store sales of appliances rose 6.1 percent, and sales of computing devices and mobile phone gained 16.2 percent. But that was not enough to offset the big drop in television sales, along with a 15.2-percent drop in an “other” category, which includes audio, mattresses and personal electronics.

“As we announced in our pre-release, the difficult industry-wide video category trends presented a challenge to our sales and earnings,” President and CEO Dennis May said in a prepared statement. “With the continued growth of our appliance business and the introduction of new categories, such as furniture and home fitness, we continue to reduce our reliance on both the video category and innovation in consumer electronics.”

Revenue fell 3.6 percent, to $799.6 million.

For the nine months ended Dec. 31, HHGregg earned $15.4 million, or 44 cents per share, compared with $27.7 million, or 72 cents per share, in the same period in 2011.

Revenue in the most recent nine months stayed flat at $1.9 billion.

HHGregg expects fiscal 2013 same-store sales to fall 7.5 percent to 8.5 percent and overall sales to stay flat or rise 1 percent.

The company operates 228 stores in 20 states.

HHGregg shares opened trading Thursday morning priced at $7.66 each, up from a 52-week low of $5.84 in late October.
 

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