HHGregg reports 10 percent drop in quarterly sales

HHGregg Inc. on Thursday morning said store sales fell 10 percent during its latest quarter, continuing a disappointing streak in which the company hasn’t posted a profit in more than two years.

The Indianapolis-based electronics and appliance retailer’s latest drop in sales, however, wasn’t as steep as analysts had expected.

The company lost $9.1 million, or 33 cents per share, in the fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31, down from $25.2 million, or 91 cents, in the same period a year ago.

It was the ninth straight quarter in which HHGregg has posted a loss. It last reported a profit in January 2014.

Losses adjusted for one-time gains and costs were 28 cents per share. That number topped the average estimate of a loss of 34 cents per share by four analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

Robert Riesbeck, HHGregg's chief financial officer and interim president and CEO, said the smaller loss was due to cost savings and stronger sales of appliances in February and March.

Revenue for its fourth quarter was $438.8 million compared with $485.6 million in the year-ago period.

Sales for store locations open at least a year—a key metric in retailing known as comparable-store sales—dropped 9.3 percent, with appliance sales down 0.4 percent and consumer electronics sales off 19.6 percent. Sales of computers and tablets dropped 32.2 percent.

The quarter was marked by the departure of former CEO Dennis May, who stepped down in February. May joined the company in 1999 as chief operating officer, and was named president in 2003 and CEO in 2010.   

For fiscal year 2016, HHGregg reported an 8 percent slide in sales.

The company lost $54.9 million, or $1.98 per share, compared with $132.7 million, or $4.72 cents per share, in the prior fiscal year.

Same-store sales in fiscal 2016 fell 7.7 percent, compared with 9.2 percent in the previous year.

HHGregg posted annual revenue of $2 billion.

The company operates 226 stores in 20 states. Shares opened Thursday morning at $1.64 each, down 2.4 percent in after-market trading.

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