Shares of hhgregg, Inc. HGG fell 2.24% yesterday after the company announced its preliminary sales results for the third quarter of fiscal 2017. hhgregg is expected to report weaker sales compared to the prior year due to competitive pressure in the market.
This appliance and electronics retailer is scheduled to release its third-quarter fiscal 2017 results on Jan 26.
Q3 Prelim Sales
For the third quarter, the company expects net sales to decline approximately 24% year over year to $453 million, with a drop of approximately 22% in comparable store sales. The poor comparable sales performance is due to decline in comparable store sales across all its segments. The consumer electronics category was affected the most as it is a larger mix of the business during the holidays. It is expected to decline around 39%. The appliance category is expected to dip approximately 4% and the home products category is estimated to decrease approximately 9%. The transition to a new distribution center also had a temporary negative impact on the sales for the quarter.
Notably, hhgregg has been reporting losses and declining revenues for the past many quarters, primarily due to weak comparable store sales. Estimates have also been declining since the company reported its second-quarter fiscal 2016 results.
HHGregg, Inc. EPS Diluted (Quarterly)
HHGregg, Inc. EPS Diluted (Quarterly) | HHGregg, Inc. Quote
In fact, the stock has underperformed the Zacks categorized Retail-Consumer Electronics industry over the past five years. Shares of the retailer have plunged 88.1% over the past five years in comparison to the Zacks categorized Retail-Consumer Electronics industry, which grew 40.3%.
Despite the weaknesses, the company has been making efforts to revive the business. hhgregg has been investing to shift its focus from consumer electronics to appliances and furniture. In this regard, it is resetting store layouts, adding Fine Lines departments and promotions focused on the appliance business. Since the consumer electronics category is very competitive, the company has devised a strategic move in this category, particularly at the entry level price points. The company plans to reposition its consumer electronics business to focus on the premium models.
We are encouraged by hhgregg’s strategic initiatives, which focus on reversing the negative sales trends, optimizing marketing spending and improving cost structure. While these initiatives are expected to revive the consumer electronics category over the long term, the segment will continue to witness a downtrend, as the company is under a lot of pressure and facing volatility.
hhgregg carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked company in the same space is Best Buy Co., Inc. BBY. Investors interested in the broader retail space may also consider Tilly’s, Inc. TLYS and The Children's Place, Inc. PLCE. All three of them sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
While Best Buy and Children’s Place has a long term earnings growth of 11.9% and 10.3%, respectively, Tilly’s Inc. has a growth rate of 13.0% over the long term.
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