Weak sales lead HHGregg to post smaller profit

January 30, 2014

Weak sales at HHGregg Inc. stores over the holidays led the Indianapolis-based retailer to report a 71-percent drop in profit for its latest quarter.

For its fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 31, HHGregg said Thursday morning that same-stores sales fell 11.2 percent on lower-than-expected demand for its computers and wireless products.

The seller of appliances and electronics reported profit of $5 million, or 17 cents per share, compared with $17.4 million, or 51 cents per share, in its previous third quarter.

HHGregg CEO Dennis May attributed the disappointing sales to a company decision to avoid offering steep discounts on certain electronics products.

“The broadening distribution and heightened promotional nature of the consumer electronics category during the holiday period reinforces our strategic decision to continue transforming our business toward a broader assortment of home products, including appliances and home furnishings,” May said in a prepared statement.

Appliances accounted for 41 percent of HHGregg’s sales in its latest quarter, up from 35 percent during the same quarter in 2012. Consumer electronics accounted for 43 percent of sales last quarter, down from 48 percent in the year-ago period.

Third-quarter revenue decreased 11.6 percent, to $707.1 million.

For the fiscal nine months ended Dec. 31, HHGregg reported profit of $7.5 million, or 24 cents per share, compared with $15.4 million, or 44 cents per share, for the same period the previous year..

Revenue during the same period dipped 4.1 percent, to $1.8 billion.

HHGregg adjusted its guidance for fiscal 2014 and now expects same-store sales for the year to decline between 5.5 percent and 7 percent, from a previously anticipated 2 percent to 3.5 percent.

Revenue is expected to fall between 4 percent and 5.5 percent. HHGregg previously anticipated revenue to range from flat to a drop of 1.5 percent.

HHGregg shares had declined 18 percent on Thursday by early-afternoon trading, to $8.67 per share.


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