Hhgregg shares fall after rivals' promotions hit holiday sales

Mon Jan 6, 2014 10:00am EST

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(Reuters) - Hhgregg Inc (HGG.N) shares fell as much as 11 percent on Monday after the electronics and appliance retailer reported poor preliminary sales for the holiday quarter, which it blamed on aggressive promotions by rivals.

The company also said earnings per share for the period were likely to be "materially below" its expectations.

The shares were down 7.1 percent at $12.64 in morning trading after dropping as low as $12.14. Rival Best Buy Co Inc's (BBY.N) stock was down 3 percent.

Hhgregg said comparable-store sales fell about 11.2 percent in the third quarter ended December 31, with consumer electronics down 19.7 percent, and computing and wireless products down 24.5 percent. Sales of appliances and home products rose.

Hhgregg Chief Executive Officer Dennis May blamed rivals' heavy discounting of televisions and tablets.

"We made the strategic decision during the quarter not to fully participate in the heavily promotional environment," May said.

The holiday-quarter showing "reinforced" hhgregg's decision to increase its assortments of appliances and home furnishings, he said.

The company will report full results for the quarter on January 30.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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