Tallahassee Journal

hhgregg craters on quarterly warning

hhgregg craters on quarterly warning

We’ll have to wait a few weeks for quarterly earnings reports  to see just how the holiday shopping season shaped up for the nation’s retail chains.  But given Tuesday’s reaction to hhgregg’s HGG preliminary third-quarter report, jittery Wall Street is likely to have a hair-trigger reaction to even a whiff of bad news.hh-gregg-storefront1

Shares of the electronics, appliances and home furnishings retailer plunged $1.63 (22.5%) to $5.62 – the day’s biggest percentage loser – after the company warned that sales would likely be down 6% to $666 million from $707 million in the year-ago quarter.  Analysts had expected same-store sales to be off by about 5%.

Sales of computers and tablets sank 35%, a category that CEO Dennis May said “continues to be negatively impacted” by waning consumer demand. Among other categories, consumer electronics were down 4%, appliance sales were flat and sales of home products fell 9%. Indianapolis-based hhgregg operates 228 stores in 20 states. The company is scheduled to report third-quarter results Jan. 29, but said in a securities filing that due to impairment charges of up to $70 million, it would rescind a prior fiscal 2015 earnings outlook.