Barnes & Noble Loss Narrows in Recent Quarter

Features Dow Jones Newswires

Barnes & Noble Inc. reported another loss in its latest quarter as the retailer continues to face a shrinking market for print books, competition from Amazon.com Inc., and sales weakness of its Nook e-reader.

Still, the loss narrowed from a year earlier and was smaller than analysts expected.

Barnes & Noble also on Thursday named current Chief Executive Michael Huseby as CEO of Barnes & Noble Education. The bookseller in February said it would spin off its college bookstore business, which represented about 40% of total sales last year, into a separate publicly traded company by the end of August. The move comes as Barnes & Noble puts greater emphasis on in-store events that have driven traffic to its stores—like the second annual monthlong pop culture extravaganza that begins in July.

The CEO of the company's retail group, Mitchell Klipper, resigned effective May 2. Barnes & Noble is searching for a replacement who will lead the retail company after the spinoff.

In all for the period ended May 2, the book chain reported a loss of $19.4 million, or 37 cents a share, narrower than its year-earlier loss of $36.7 million, or 72 cents a share. Revenue declined 10% to $1.18 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for a per-share loss of 39 cents on $1.2 billion in revenue.

Mr. Huseby said strategic and operating initiatives helped improve performance in each business unit, though all segments reported sales declines. In the retail division, the company's largest, revenue fell 9% to $869.4 million. Sales in the college segment fell 8.1% to $274 million, while Nook sales plunged 40% to $52.4 million. Nook's loss before taxes, depreciation and amortization, however, narrowed to $14.8 million from $56 million a year earlier on lower costs.

Shares in the company are up about 16% over the past three months.

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