Why hhgregg (HGG) Bombed on Thursday

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of hhgregg (HGG) were trading sharply lower after the retailer posted worse-than-expected third-quarter results and weak guidance. By midafternoon, the stock had unloaded 14.9% to $8.99.

Before the bell, the small-cap recorded quarterly net income of 17 cents a share, 11 cents short of what analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast. Revenue of $707.1 million was 11.6% lower than a year earlier and missed consensus of $755.5 million.

"As previously reported, our sales of consumer electronics and computing and wireless products were significantly below our expectations during the quarter," said CEO Dennis May in a statement. "The broad distribution of these categories across a variety of retail formats combined with the intensely promotional environment led to a challenging operating environment."

Across all categories, the Indianapolis-based business suffered a 11.2% drop in comparable store sales over the quarter. Consumer electronics plummeted 19.7%, while computing and wireless products plunged 24.5%.

As a result of increasingly-aggressive competition in the consumer electronics space, hhgregg said it is now transforming the business toward a broader assortment of home products, such as appliances and home furnishings. The period saw the 10th consecutive quarter of comparable store sales increases in the appliance category.

In the full year ending March, the electronics retailer said it expects earnings between 30 cents and 40 cents a share, a far cry from prior guidance of 70 cents to 90 cents a share. Analysts had hoped for earnings of 57 cents a share.

Moving in sympathy, fellow consumer electronics Best Buy (BBY) shed 2% to $23.50. The multibillion-dollar rival is due to report fourth-quarter earnings at the end of February. 

TheStreet Ratings team rates HHGREGG INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate HHGREGG INC (HGG) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins."

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