B&N Reports Improved Losses, Massive Nook Growth

Barnes & Noble took to the wires this morning to announced its 2012 first quarter sales and earnings. It’s mostly good news with sales in the first quarter hitting $1.4 billion, an increase of 2% over last year. Online sales increased 37% to $198 million while brick and mortar sales decreased 3% to $1 billion. The big news, however, is B&N’s Nook business increased a whooping 140% to reach $277 million, on a comparable sales basis.

Our NOOK eReaders and applications continue to be cited as the finest digital reading products on the market, with the new NOOK Simple Touch Reader recently rated as the best eReader,” says CEO William Lynch. “The company is encouraged by the progress achieved against our strategy and believes in our plan to continue to appropriately invest in the massive digital opportunity, while delivering strong EBITDA growth this year.

The large uptick now means the Nook is accounts for more sales than B&N’s entire online storefront. Over the last quarter B&N launched the awesome Nook Simple Touch Reader and continued to support the hacker-friendly Nook Color Android tablet. Despite the upcoming Amazon assault, B&N expects big things from the Nook division and stated that the year over year sales should double and reach $1.8 billion this year versus last year’s record of $880 million.

The company’s earnings improved 24% this last quarter from a loss of $30.7 million to $23.6 million. This accounts for a consolidated net loss of $57 million, or $0.99 a share. The company expects the full year losses per share to be in a range of $0.10 to $0.50 no doubt thanks to the upcoming holiday spending spree and the Nook’s explosive growth.

The street clearly likes this news as Barnes & Noble’s stock shot up and is currently at a 2 week high.