HHGregg loses money again, but tops analyst expectations

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HHGregg Inc. failed to turn a profit for the 11th straight quarter as sales at the Indianapolis-based retail chain continued to fall, but the company did see some improvement in key financial categories.

The appliance and electronics retailer on Thursday reported fiscal first quarter results that exceeded analyst expectations.

Sales were $423.6 million in the period ended June 30, down 4 percent from the $441,063 it reported in the same quarter of 2015. The year-over-year sales drop was better than the 6.6 percent decline HHGregg experienced in the year-ago period.

The revenue exceeded the average prediction of $417.9 million by analysts.

The company lost $7.2 million, or 26 cents per share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $8.8 million, or 32 cents per share, in the same period of 2015.

The results topped the average analyst prediction of 32 cents per share.

Comparable store revenue, which measures sales at stores open at least 14 months, dropped 3.9 percent. The company operated 226 stores in the most recent quarter, one fewer than a year ago.

HHGregg saw improvement in the appliance category, with comparable store sales rising 3.7 percent.

The company, as it hoped, continued to shift more of its sales mix to appliances and away from less profitable consumer electronics.

Appliances accounted for 64 percent of sales in the quarter, up from 59 percent a year ago. Consumer electronics accounted for 30 percent of sales, down from 35 percent last year. Home products made up 6 percent of sales, the same as last year.

“We delivered a solid first fiscal quarter and are off to a positive start to our fiscal year," said new HHGregg CEO Robert Riesbeck in a written statement. "We made progress toward our top company goal of driving revenue."

HHGregg shares closed at $2.27 Wednesday, up 6.5 percent on the day but down 38 percent since the start of the year.

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