Barnes & Noble Reports Q2 Net Loss Of $6.6M, Says NOOK Is Now A $220 Million Business

Barnes & Noble this morning reported sales and earnings for its second quarter ended October 29, 2011, and they’re a mixed bag. Total sales decreased slightly, from $1.9 billion to $1.89 billion, compared to the prior year.

The company posted a net loss of $6.6 million for the quarter, or $0.17 per share, as compared to a net loss of $12.6 million last year. This is below Wall Street expectations.

Physical book sales declined, Barnes & Noble says, offset by increases in NOOK products and positively affected by the liquidation of the remaining Borders stores. sales, meanwhile, increased a decent 17 percent over the prior year, from $177 million to $206 million.

Zooming in on its NOOK business, Barnes & Noble boasted about the successful kick-off for its NOOK Tablet.

The $249 device was introduced on November 7, 2011. In the first few weeks of launch, the company says the NOOK Tablet has become the fastest selling NOOK product in its history.

Says William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble:

“We expect to sell millions of devices during our third quarter, adding to the millions of current NOOK customers.”

B&N further said that the consolidated NOOK business across all of the company’s segments, including sales of digital content, device hardware and related accessories, increased 85 percent in the second quarter to $220 million, on a comparable sales basis.

The company also says it plans to invest more heavily in customer acquisition activities to fuel NOOK digital growth. However, as a result, B&N expects full year EBITDA to be at the lower end of the previously issued range of $210 million to $250 million.