B&N Second Quarter: Comp-Store Sales Up 1.8%
In the second quarter ended October 27, consolidated revenues at Barnes & Noble fell 0.4%, to $1.9 billion, and the net gain was $2.2 million compared to a net loss of $6.6 million in the same period a year ago. But after several dividend charges, the net basic loss was 4 cents a share, down from 17 cents a year earlier, but close to analysts' estimates of 3 cents a share. Analysts had also predicted flat revenue.
Sales at B&N stores open at least a year, excluding Nook products, rose 1.8% in the quarter. Sales at B&N College stores open at least a year fell 0.5%.
Revenues at B&N bookstores and B&N.com fell 3%, to $996 million, because of "flat comparable store sales, store closures and lower BN.com sales. During the quarter, the company began to cycle against the favorable impact of the Borders liquidation a year ago."
Sales at B&N College rose 0.4%, to $773 million, "led by new store growth."
Nook sales, including e-readers, e-books and accessories, rose 6%, to $160 million. Digital content sales, including e-books, digital newsstand and the apps business, rose 38%. The company continued to make high investments in product development and international expansion.
Commenting on business Thanksgiving weekend, B&N said sales at retail stores open at least a year, excluding the Nook, declined slightly "in line with company expectations." At the same time, Nook unit sales doubled, "driven by increased promotional activity at channel partners, particularly Walmart and Target."
CEO William Lynch noted that the company "completed the formation of our promising Nook Media subsidiary and closed our investment from Microsoft. We expect our two highly acclaimed new Nook products, and our Microsoft partnership on Windows 8 to further fuel the growth of our digital business, and are encouraged by the promising start to the holidays in our retail and digital businesses."