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Barnes & Noble Swings to Loss

The results are in line with Wall Street's expectations.

Bookselling giant

Barnes & Noble

(BKS) - Get Barnes & Noble, Inc. Report

swung to a third-quarter loss, meeting analysts' expectations, and backed its guidance for the full year.

The New York-based retailer on Thursday reported a preliminary loss of $2.8 million, or 4 cents a share, compared with income of $327,000, or less than 1 cent a share, a year ago. The most recent quarter includes 3 cents a share in stock-compensation expenses.

Sales increased to $1.11 billion from $1.08 billion a year earlier, while same-store sales increased 2% at Barnes & Noble stores and fell 5% at the smaller B. Dalton chain.

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The results matched analysts' forecasts, which called for a loss of 4 cents a share on revenue of $1.1 billion, according to Thomson First Call.

The company said its results are preliminary due to an ongoing review of the company's historical stock-option grant practices. Barnes & Noble said it won't be able to file its quarterly report on time because of the review.

For the fourth quarter, Barnes & Noble forecast earnings of $1.86 to $1.96 a share, including 3 cents a share stock-option expense. Wall Street expects earnings of $1.95 a share.

The company said it expects fourth-quarter same-store sales at Barnes & Noble stores to range from flat to up in the low single-digits. The company now expects full-year same-store sales be flat or slightly up over last year.

For the full year, the company reiterated its forecast for earnings of $2.20 to $2.30 a share, including 14 cents stock-option expense. Analysts predict earnings of $2.27.

Shares of Barnes & Noble recently were down 67 cents, or 1.6%, to $41.96.