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HHGregg earnings sink on declining sales

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HHGregg saw a big drop in earnings in its latest quarter on decreased sales, lower profit margins and higher advertising expenses, the Indianapolis-based retailer said Monday.

The company reported earnings of $9.9 million, or 31 cents per share, for the fiscal fourth quarter, which ended March 31. That compared with $53.6 million, or $1.45 per share, in the same period a year ago.

Last year's quarter, however, included $39.6 million in earnings from a key-man life insurance payment. Adjusted earnings for year-ago period were $14.5 million, or 39 cents per share.

Revenue for the latest quarter fell 2.6 percent, to $597.6 million.

Analysts had predicted quarterly revenue of $623 million and earnings of 29 cents per share.

Comparable store revenue, which measures sales at stores open more than a year, fell 9.8 percent.

HHGregg continued to see declines in TV sales and increases in appliance sales. About 43 percent of the company's sales came from appliances in the latest period, compared to 37 percent a year ago.  Roughly 36 percent of the retailer's sales came in the video category in the last quarter, down from 43 percent last year.

The retailer saw double-digit comparable-store sales decreases in cameras, camcorders and small electronics, partially offset by increases in sales from mattresses, furniture and fitness equipment.

HHGregg predicted earnings per share for fiscal 2014 in the range of 75 cents to 90 cents and  sales growth in the range of 1 percent to 3.5 percent.

Shares in HHGregg closed Monday at $15.61 each, a 52-week high.
 

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