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Barnes & Noble Predicts More Declines

Barnes & Noble's third-quarter profit tops estimates, but the book retailer issues a dour outlook.

(Barnes & Noble article updated with Borders stock movement and analysis.)

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Barnes & Noble

(BKS) - Get Report

saw a hefty sales gain in the third quarter as its Nook e-reader helped propel online orders, but the book retailer still foresees weak sales and profit for the year.

During the quarter, Barnes & Noble earned $80.4 million, or $1.38 a share, a 6% decrease from $85.2 million, or $1.42, for the book retailer from the year-ago period. Analysts had expected earnings of $1.34 a share.

Barnes & Noble's revenue spiked 33% to $2.17 billion, boosted by the addition of the Barnes & Noble College Booksellers unit, which the company bought back from its chairman in August.

The book retailer's online sales soared 32% to $210 million.

Looking ahead, Barnes & Noble expects a fourth-quarter loss between 85 cents and $1.15 a share, greater than the 61 cents analysts forecast. For the year, the company foresees earnings in the range of 23 cents to 53 cents, while Wall Street is looking for 58 cents a share. It expects a sales drop between 3% and 5% for the current fiscal year.

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As a result, shares are dropping 4.0% to $20.65 in morning trading.

Rival

Borders

(BGP)

, which won't report its quarterly results until March 29, is also tanking on the news. Shares are off 4% to $1.46 in morning trading.

Like Barnes & Noble, Borders has seen sales struggle. The company already reported a 14.6% plunge in same-store sales during the holiday period.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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