Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) today reported sales and earnings for its third quarter ended January 28, 2012.
THIRD QUARTER SALES
Total sales increased 5% as compared to the prior year, from $2.3 billion to $2.4 billion. Barnes & Noble store (“Retail”) sales increased 2% from $1.46 billion to $1.49 billion. Comparable store sales increased 2.8%, on top of a 7.3% increase a year ago. Retail core comparable store sales, which exclude sales of devices, accessories and warranties, increased 4.2% over last year.
Barnes & Noble College (“College”) sales declined 3% from $540 million to $525 million, due to a shift from selling new and used textbooks to lower priced textbook rentals. Comparable store sales were flat as compared to a year ago. College comparable store sales reflect the retail selling price of a new or used textbook when rented, rather than solely the rental fee received and amortized over the rental period.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 consolidated 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, on a comparable sales basis. 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. Content sales are defined to include digital books, digital newsstand, and the apps business. BN.com and NOOK comparable sales reflect the actual selling price for eBooks sold under the agency model rather than solely the commission received. Additionally, it includes all deferred eReader device revenues, and includes device sales to channel partners on a “sell-in” basis net of estimated returns.
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