(By Balaseshan) Bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) reported a narrower quarterly loss due to lower costs and expenses. Despite revenue missing consensus, loss was narrower than Street's expectations.
Loss for the second quarter narrowed to $2.16 million or $0.04 per share from $9.94 million or $0.17 per share last year.
Revenue decreased 0.4% to $1.88 billion.
Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a loss of $0.06 per share on revenue of $1.91 billion for the second quarter.
Retail sales fell 3% to $996 million, due to flat comparable store sales, store closures and lower BN.com sales. Core comparable bookstore sales, which exclude sales of NOOK products, increased 1.8%.
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College revenue increased 0.4% to $773 million, led by new store growth. Comparable College store sales decreased 0.5%, reflecting the retail selling price of a new or used textbook when rented, rather than solely the rental fee received and amortized over the rental period.
NOOK segment revenue rose 6% to $160 million. Digital content sales increased 38% for the second quarter. The two new NOOK devices, NOOK HD and NOOK HD+, began shipping after the close of the company's fiscal second quarter, and sales from the launch of those products will be reflected in the current fiscal third quarter and subsequent quarters.
NOOK unit sales doubled over the four-day Black Friday weekend, across all channels, based on information provided by our channel partners on a sell-through basis compared to the similar period last year.
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The growth was driven by increased promotional activity at channel partners, particularly Walmart and Target. Retail Core comparable sales, which exclude sales of NOOK products, slightly declined over the holiday weekend, in-line with company expectations. Barnes & Noble will report holiday sales on or about January 3.
"We expect our two highly acclaimed new NOOK products, and our Microsoft partnership on Windows 8 to further fuel the growth of our digital business, and are encouraged by the promising start to the holidays in our retail and digital businesses," said William Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble.
BKS closed Wednesday's regular session at $16.05. The stock has been trading between $9.35 and $26 for the past 52 weeks.