We knew that Tweeter (NASDAQ:TWTR) was going to let us down. Two months ago, the company warned of a distressing 13% slide in September quarter comps. The dearth of sales was the result of its key projection television business being supplanted by LCD and plasma flat-screen television sets that keep getting cheaper and cheaper. With the company closing stores and sales falling, shareholders must have been dreading yesterday's fiscal fourth-quarter report.

It was bad, but it could have been worse. The company's net loss from continuing operations narrowed to $0.65 a share for the period. It had posted a $0.75-per-share deficit a year earlier. The top line fell by 14% as a result of negative comps and a smaller store base. Over the past year, Tweeter has gone from watching over 159 locations to just 153 units (in itself a far cry from the 179 stores it had two years ago).

The company is doing its part to ward off extinction. It's paying off debt and shuttering poorly performing locations. That's commendable, but the real problem here is that it's not CircuitCity (NYSE:CC) or Best Buy (NYSE:BBY). Those are the true leaders in the consumer electronics revolution, as smaller specialists like Tweeter and edgy gadgetry specialists like Sharper Image (NASDAQ:SHRP) are free-falling fundamentally at the moment.

If you had to explain the Tweeter story to a child, you could probably bring up SpongeBob SquarePants. Circuit City and Best Buy are the Krusty Krab, the popular fast-food chain that seems to have all the right answers when it comes to generating money. Tweeter? It's Plankton, the small dreamer with the empty rival location. Try as it might, Plankton can't get his hands on the secret Krusty Krab burger recipe. The difference, though, is that Plankton is green. Tweeter is not, having lost money on an annual basis for several years now.

Yes, the stock is trading at a pittance these days. The share price has been cut in half over the past year. That doesn't translate into a bargain if Tweeter continues to fade out. The company has plenty to prove this holiday season. Let's see if it can sneak its way into the Krusty Krab kitchen in time to save Christmas.

More on Tweeter's fading ways:

Best Buy is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Want to learn why? Check out the subscription-based research service with a free 30-day trial membership.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz can watch time fly at a consumer electronics store. He's a gadget geek that way. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.