Barnes & Noble posts loss of $19.4 million in 4th quarter as Nook sales drop sharply

MarketsAssociated Press

Sales of Barnes & Noble's Nook devices and e-books plummeted during its most recent quarter, as did sales at its bookstores.

In midday trading Thursday, shares slid 3 percent.

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Sales at its stores fell 9 percent to $869.4 million, even as the company brought in more toys and games to offset falling book sales.

During a conference call Thursday, CEO Michael Huseby said that a new book from Dr. Seuss, a "To Kill a Mockingbird" sequel and a "50 Shares of Grey" spin-off should bring more people to stores.

Barnes & Noble is also launching a redesign of its website next week that could boost sales, Huseby said. The company, which has nearly 650 stores around the country, expects sales at stores open at least a year to rise about 1 percent for the fiscal year, excluding sales of Nook products.

Sales of Nook devices and content fell 40 percent to $52.4 million in its fiscal fourth quarter.

Barnes & Noble partnered with Samsung last year to make Nook-branded tablets so that the bookseller could focus on its digital software, instead of building the tablets. Barnes & Noble still makes and sells a Nook e-reader that is sold for $99. Earlier this year, it scrapped a plan to spin off its Nook business, and opted to spin off its college textbook business into a separate company instead.

Barnes & Noble had a loss of $19.4 million, or 37 cents per share, in its fourth-quarter, compared with a loss of $36.7 million, or 72 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue fell 10 percent to $1.18 billion.

The New York company, however, swung to a profit for the year with net income of $36.6 million, or 21 cents per share. Revenue was $6.07 billion.

Shares of Barnes & Noble fell 83 cents to $25.50.


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