HHGregg shares slide on disappointing quarterly results

HHGregg Inc. lost more money than expected in its latest quarter as sales slumped dramatically, the Indianapolis-based appliance, electronics and furniture retailer reported Thursday morning.

The company lost $10.3 million, or 36 cents per share, in the fiscal first quarter ended June 30, compared with a loss of $1.3 million, or 4 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2013.

Fourteen stock analysts who follow the company had expected an average loss of 16 cents per share in the latest period.

Revenue fell from $524.9 million a year ago to $472.3 million in the latest quarter. Analysts had predicted revenue of $490.5 million.

Sales for locations open at least a year—a key metric in retailing known as comparable-store sales—fell 10.2 percent.

HHGregg shares fell as much as 16 percent in early-morning trading, sinking to $7.14 each. The stock has lost 48 percent of its value since the end of 2013.

“While we expected the first quarter to be challenging given the difficult comparison to the prior year, we are not satisfied with our recent results,” CEO Dennis May said Thursday in a prepared statement. “We recognize the importance of balancing near-term results with long-term investments to transform the business. Therefore we will continue to invest in our strategic initiatives to reposition the business around a broader assortment of home products. While we are making progress in many areas, we have opportunities for improvement in others.”

HHGregg saw comparable-store sales fall in every product category. Appliance sales fell 2 percent; consumer electronics sales dropped 19 percent; computer sales sank nearly 30 percent; and sales of home products decreased by less than 1 percent.

The retailer saw some improvement in its strategy to move sales away from less-profitable TVs and more toward appliances and other items.

Appliance sales accounted for 57 percent of the company’s sales in the latest quarter, up from 52 percent a year ago. Consumer electronics (TV) sales accounted for 31 percent of sales, down from 34 percent.

Home products remained at 5 percent of the product mix, while computers fell from 9 percent to 7 percent.

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