Barnes & Noble (BKS) Beats Q1 Expectations on Stronger Digital Content Sales, Bookstore Comps

August 21, 2012 8:45 AM EDT
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Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) is quite the page-turner Tuesday morning following strong first-quarter 2013 results from the venerable bookseller.

Data shows sales rose 2.5 percent to $1.45 billion in the quarter, from $1.42 billion the prior year. Bookstore comps rose 4.6 percent. Net loss narrowed from $56.6 million last year to $41 million, or 78 cents per share.

Overall, the Street was expecting a loss of $1 per share on sales of $1.48 billion.

NOOK sales showed slight improvement, rising 0.3 percent to $192 million. Digital content sales were said to increase 46 percent in the first quarter, offsetting a decline in device sales.

Comparable bookstore sales continued to benefit from the liquidation of Borders’ bookstores in fiscal 2012 and strong sales of the Fifty Shades of Grey series. College comps fell 2 percent in the quarter.

Barnes & Noble also offered an update on its Newco joint venture with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT): "On April 30th, the company announced that it has formed a strategic partnership with Microsoft to form a new subsidiary, Newco, which is comprised of the company’s NOOK digital and College businesses. The company continues to be actively engaged in the formation of Newco and is in the process of implementing the work necessary to complete the Microsoft transaction. The company expects the Microsoft transaction to close this Fall."

Shares of Barnes & Noble are up over 5 percent ahead of the bell Tuesday morning.

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