hhgregg Reports Lower Comp Store CE, Majaps Sales

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INDIANAPOLIS - hhgregg reported lower comp store sales for its fiscal third quarter, ended Dec. 31, 2010, and issued updated 2011 fiscal guidance in advance of its quarterly earnings report.

For the fiscal third quarter 2011, the chain estimated net sales to be $653.7 million, an increase of approximately 30.6 percent as compared with the $500.4 million of net sales reported in the fiscal third quarter last year.

But comp-store sales for the quarter are estimated to decrease 6.2 percent, with the video category expected to decrease 5.9 percent, the appliance category expected to decrease 5.7 percent, and the other category expected to decrease 7.9 percent.

Fiscal third-quarter 2011 earnings were negatively impacted by lower-than-expected demand in emerging technologies in the video category that led to reduced video margins, as well as continued macro economic pressures on the appliance category.

Dennis May, president and CEO commented, "While we are pleased with our overall sales and market share gains in the video category, our mix of video product was different than our expectations going into the holiday selling season. Industry sales from newer technologies like LED and 3D TV increased less than expected, and our mix of entry-point televisions was higher than anticipated, which negatively impacted our merchandise gross margin."

In light of the preliminary fiscal third quarter sales results, the company said it now anticipates that annual net income per diluted share will be $1.15 to $1.23 in fiscal 2011. This compares with previous guidance of net income per diluted share of $1.30 to $1.45. This updated guidance represents a 11.7 percent to 19.4 percent increase over net income per diluted share for the prior year.

The retailer still plans to open between 35 and 45 new stores in fiscal year 2012. The majority of these openings are expected to be in the Chicago, Miami areas and western Pennsylvania, including the Pittsburgh market

hgregg will announce full operating results for its fiscal third quarter 2011 on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011.


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