B&N Sales Down, Losses Lessen
In the fourth quarter ended May 2, consolidated revenue at Barnes & Noble fell 10.4%, to $1.2 billion, and the net loss was $19.4 million (37 cents a share), compared to a net loss of $47.3 million in the same quarter a year earlier.
For the full year, consolidated revenues fell 4.9%, to $6.1 billion, and the net gain was $36.6 million compared to a net loss of $47.3 million in the previous year.
The fourth-quarter results slightly beat Wall Street analysts' estimates. They had predicted an earnings loss of 39 cents a share and revenue in a range of $1.16 billion to $1.18 billion.
Michael P. Huseby, B&N's CEO, said that the company is "successfully implementing strategic and operating initiatives" and ended the fiscal year "with an improved balance sheet, and also well positioned to move forward with a focus on operations and our customers." He noted that Nook losses "improved slightly" and that the college division "continued to grow its new business, improve its comparable store sales trends and develop its digital education platform, Yuzu." B&N expects to spin off the college operations--recently dubbed Barnes & Noble Education--by the end of August.
Revenues at the Retail segment, which includes Barnes & Noble Bookstores and BN.com, fell 9%, to $869 million, in the quarter, and fell 4.4%, to $4.1 billion, for the full year. The year-to-year comparison was hurt by an extra week in the previous fiscal year. At stores open at least a year, sales fell 1.3% in the quarter and 1.9% for the full year. Excluding Nook products, sales fell 0.5% in the quarter and rose 0.5% for the year.
Revenues in the College segment fell 8.1%, to $274 million in the quarter, and rose 1.4%, to $1.8 billion for the year. At stores open at least a year, sales rose 6% in the quarter because of higher general merchandise and textbook sales and rose 0.1% for the year, with higher general merchandise sales offset by increased adoption of lower priced textbook rentals.
Sales in the Nook segment, (including digital content, devices and accessories, fell 39.8%, to $52 million in the quarter and dropped 47.8%, to $264 million for the full year.
In other B&N news, the company's store at Muskegon Community College, Muskegon, Mich., is opening a branch downtown in the college's new satellite campus, mlive.com reported. The store will be open to the public and offer college-branded items as well as reading materials and other items.
The college is currently renovating the former Muskegon Chronicle and Masonic Temple buildings for the new campus.