Barnes & Noble
said its same-store sales rose 1.3% for the nine-week holiday period, but added that its books and video games segments will miss fourth-quarter earnings estimates.
The New York-based retailer said it expects fourth-quarter earnings of $1.30 a share for its bookseller segment, compared with consensus estimates of $1.46 a share. The company also expects its Babbage's stores to account for fourth-quarter earnings of 6 cents a share, sharply below analysts' estimates of 33 cents a share. Barnes & Noble attributed the sales decline to a slowdown in demand and the shortage of the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 game consoles.
First Call/Thomson Financial
, 10 analysts are expecting the company to earn $1.67 a share in the fourth quarter, up from $1.27 a share a year ago. Barnes & Noble expects comparable-store sales to grow between 1.5% and 2% in the fourth quarter, "due to the better-than-expected trends experienced after Jan. 1, 2001."
Last week, rival
warned that it would post fourth-quarter earnings about 10% below analysts' consensus estimates, citing weak holiday sales and reduced margins amid increased promotional activity.
Analysts polled by First Call had expected Borders to post fourth-quarter earnings of $1.37 a share compared with earnings of $1.23 in the year-ago period. The 10-analyst consensus estimate has since been lowered to $1.25 a share.
Shares of Barnes & Noble recently lost $2.50, or 10%, to $22.38 on the Big Board, while Borders gained 19 cents, or 1.6%, to $11.94 in composite trading.