B&N First Quarter: Sales Down; Net Loss Improves

In the first quarter ended July 29, total sales at Barnes & Noble fell 6.6%, to $853 million, and the net loss was $10.8 million, compared to a net loss of $14.4 million in the same period a year earlier. The net loss of 15 cents a share was higher than Wall Street estimates of 12 cents a share, and sales came in $18.4 million below expectations, which mean the stock will likely drop in price today.

Sales at stores open at least a year fell 4.9%, "as declines in non-book categories outpaced improved book sales," the company said. Online and Nook sales also dropped.

The total sales drop continues the trend of fiscal year 2017, when total sales fell 6.5%, but the comp-store sales figure is an improvement: last year, comp-store sales were off 6.3%.

B&N CEO Demos Parneros commented: "Our first quarter earnings results improved over the prior year, as we were able to mitigate the sales decline through expense reductions. We expect to improve our performance in the back-half of the year, which coupled with our focus on expense reduction, will enable us to achieve EBITDA of $180 million."

B&N said that for the fiscal year it continues to expect that comparable bookstore sales will decline "in the low single digits."

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