Barnes and Noble reported earnings this morning, with total sales increasing 5% compared to the prior year, from $2.3 billion to $2.4 billion, falling short of analyst expectations. Net income was $52 million, which is flat with the previous year’s earnings. Third quarter earnings per share was $0.71; missing analyst expectations of $1.01 per share.
The company said retail sales in general increased 2% from $1.46 billion to $1.49 billion. BN.com sales increased 32% over the prior year, from $319 million to $420 million. Comparable sales increased 42%, on top of a 64% increase a year ago. This increase was driven by continued growth of NOOK device and digital content sales, offset by a decline in online physical product sales.
The NOOK business across all of the company’s segments, including sales of digital content, device hardware and related accessories, increased 38% during the third quarter to $542 million. NOOK unit sales, including NOOK Simple Touch, NOOK Color and the new NOOK Tablet, increased 64% during the third quarter as compared to the same period last year. Digital content sales increased 85% on a comparable basis.
B&N previously stated that Nook Tablet “exceeded expectations” over the holidays, with device sales up 70 percent. As a whole, today’s earnings were not stellar considering that this is supposed to be the company’s high season for sales because of the holidays.
Barnes & Noble College sales declined 3% from $540 million to $525 million, due to the shift from selling new and used textbooks to lower priced textbook rentals.
As reported yesterday, Barnes & Noble also stated that it would release a new 8GB version of the Nook Tablet, which is priced at $199.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. is a bookseller. Its principal business is the sale of trade books (generally hardcover and paperback consumer titles, excluding educational textbooks and specialized religious titles), mass-market paperbacks (such as mystery, romance, science fiction and other fiction), children’s books, bargain books, magazines, gift, cafe products and services, music and movies direct to customers. As of January 31, 2009, the Company operated 778 bookstores and a Website. Of the 778 bookstores, 726 operate under the Barnes &...