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Circuit City Flattened

Shares plunge after the latest flat-panel TV sales setback.
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Circuit City

(CC) - Get Free Report

plunged 8% late Monday after withdrawing its first-half guidance.

The setback is the latest in a string of embarrassments at the home electronics retailer, which said April brought "substantially below-plan sales, primarily related to the large flat panel and projection television categories."

The Richmond, Va., chain said it now expects a loss from continuing operations before income taxes of $80 million to $90 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2008.

"As previously discussed, we are moving with increased urgency to accelerate our transformation initiatives," said CEO Philip J. Schoonover. "Although the first half of the fiscal year will be volatile due to the change in the television business, we believe that our transformation efforts will yield positive results for the full fiscal year."

The news comes less than a month after Circuit City posted its latest round of disappointing sales gains. The company said in posting

fourth-quarter numbers that flat-panel TVs -- which have been a huge driver of sales growth -- had average selling prices that were well below the prior year.

In March, Circuit City announced plans to lay off 3,400 employees and replace them with lower-paid workers.

Shares fell $1.39 to $16.06.