Barnes & Noble Posts Quarterly Gain, and Nook Looks Strong

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Barnes & Noble (BKS) shared some good news Tuesday about its third-quarter earnings. For the quarter ending Jan. 10, total sales were $2.2 billion, a 33% increase over the prior year. EBITDA was $204 million, with consolidated net earnings of $80.2 million, or $1.38 per share.But the news wasn't all rosy. Same-store sales dipped 4.7% to $1.4 billion from a year ago, and college bookstore sales dropped 1.4% to $566 million. The store saw some gains online -- BN.com grew 32%, to $210 million, thanks in part to the new e-reader, nook, which lifted sales 67% in January.

"Nook began shipping only in the middle of the third quarter, and, as evident in our sales, we are thrilled with how customers have embraced our product and our digital eBook platform," CEO Steve Riggio said in the statement. "In addition to the accelerating online sales trends, nook sales have been strong at our bookstores since the product became available earlier this month."

Looking ahead, B&N expects full-year earnings to be somewhere between 23 cents and 53 cents a share, below analysts' consensus expectation of 58 cents a share. BN comparable-store sales (sales at stores open a year or more) are also expected to keep declining between 2% and 4% in the fourth quarter.
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