Barnes & Noble has reported Q3 2013 earnings for the fiscal three-month period ending January 31, with a loss of $0.18 per share on quarterly revenues of $2.2 billion. That’s down 8.8 percent from the same period last year, when B&N reported gains of $0.71 per share.
Net losses in Q3 totaled $6.1 million, a clear drop from net earnings of $52 million a year ago.
Analysts predicted revenues of $2.4 billion, and an EPS of $.54. Last quarter saw revenues of $1.9 billion and losses of $0.04 per share.
Q3 has been a messy one for the retailer, which started out as a college text book store. The holiday period, which is usually a sure spike for retailers, left Barnes & Noble with a 10.9 percent sales decrease on B&N retail and BN.com from the same time last year. B&N blames this on declining Nook hardware sales at its retail locations.
Reports are floating around that Barnes & Noble may spin out its Nook hardware business, or perhaps focus its OEM vision on partnerships with Microsoft.
Barnes & Noble denies the reports, with CEO William Lynch stating today that the company is adjusting the Nook strategy and righting the segment’s cost structure. But based on the widening losses compared to Barnes & Noble’s glory days, a drastic change could be needed.
The Nook segment had revenues of $311 million during the nine-week period ending December 29, which was a 12.6 percent decrease from last year’s holiday Nook sales. All in all, Q3 saw a 26 percent YOY drop in Nook retail.
Barnes & Noble announced on January 28 that it would shutter nearly 1/3 of its retail stores, bringing its total number of locations from 689 to between 450 and 500 over the next decade.
Luckily, digital content sales rose 13.1 percent over that same nine-week holiday period, indicating that a departure from hardware and a focus on digital products could be the saving grace for the company.
The company also said on Valentine’s Day that it expected the Nook business to post an increased full-year loss, exceeding the $262 million loss seen in fiscal 2012. Though, B&N also expected losses to be less than $3 billion.