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article imageBarnes & Noble posts a $2.7 million first quarter loss

By Bob Ewing     May 21, 2009 in Business
Barnes & Noble lost $2.7 million, or 5 cents per share, for the quarter ended May 2. That compares to a loss of $2.2 million, or 4 cents per share, one year ago.
Barnes & Noble claim persistent weak spending by consumers led to a wider first-quarter loss. Still, the company did better than analysts predicted and the bookseller raised its profit forecast for the year.
The company's online sales dropped 7 percent and comparable-store sales fell 5.7 percent, slightly better than the 6 percent to 9 percent drop the company anticipated.
Revenue fell 4 percent to $1.11 billion, which is also better than the $1.08 billion analysts expected.
Investors were unhappy and as a result the stock dropped 6 percent to $22.50 in premarket trading.
The company has cut jobs, cut costs and bought e-book retailer Fictionwise, to capture some of the growing market for electronic books.
CEO Steve Riggio said the company is focused on its recent acquisition of Fictionwise and its entry into a larger e-book market, and it is "well aware of the many players that exist in, as well as, are about to enter this arena," he said.
Riggio sees a growth opportunity in the digital market represents a growth opportunity and it will be "far larger" than the sum of the e-book versions of in-print books it currently has, he said.
"The greater amount of content is exciting to us and has inspired to us develop unique approaches to the user experience of buying and reading books," he said.
The first quarter was good enough that the company is raising its full-year profit estimate to a range of $1.10 to $1.40 a share, from 95 cents to $1.25 per share. Analysts expect a full-year profit of $1.07 per share.
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