HHGregg expecting drop in year-end sales

HHGregg Inc. warned Tuesday morning that it expects sales in its latest quarter to fall despite strong growth in online activity.

The Indianapolis-based appliance, electronics and furniture retailer also withdrew its earnings outlook for its coming fiscal year, citing factors such as the decline in operating performance at some locations.

Following the announcement, company shares fell by nearly 6 percent in mid-morning trading, to $6.83 each.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, which includes the important holiday shopping season, the company is anticipating sales of $666 million, down 6 percent from the same period in 2013.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters are predicting a 5-percent decrease in revenue.

Sales of computer tablets are expected to fall 35 percent, partly due to the company’s decision to exit certain areas of the technology business that were not profitable, HHGregg CEO Dennis May said in a prepared statement.

“The computer and tablet industry continues to be negatively impacted by declining consumer demand,” he said.

HHGregg expects sales of home products to fall 9 percent and sales of consumer electronics to decrease 4 percent. E-commerce sales, however, are expected to increase 59 percent.

Same-store sales are expected to mirror overall sales and also drop 6 percent.

HHGregg is set to officially report fiscal third-quarter earnings Jan. 28.

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