Borders Slumps on Loss

Shares drop 4% as sales are light.
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Bookstore operator

Borders Group

(BGP)

said its first-quarter loss widened due in part to a challenging sales environment.

The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company lost $18.9 million, or 29 cents a share, in the quarter ended April 29, compared with $5.3 million, or 7 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted for items, earnings were 30 cents a share in the most recent quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were estimating a loss of 24 cents a share.

First-quarter total sales rose 1.5% from a year ago to $860 million as against analysts' expectation of $889.18 million.

Looking ahead, Borders is projecting a second-quarter loss of 10 cents a share to 20 cents a share, including charges of nil to 2 cents a share. Analysts are expecting the company to lose 3 cents a share during the same period.

For the full year, the company expects to earn $1.42 a share to $1.60 a share, including charges of 8 cents a share to 12 cents a share, as against analysts' estimate of $1.51 a share.

Gross profit decreased 6.3% to $202.9 million while gross profit margin fell 197 basis points to 23.6% due to increased promotional discounts, increased supply chain costs and higher occupancy costs.

Sales at domestic Borders superstores rose 4.7% in the first quarter to $606.4 million, helped by higher book sales. International segment revenue was up 1.4% to $126.4 million. Revenue from Waldenbooks fell 11.1% to $127.2 million.

In the first quarter, the company repurchased 741,000 shares totaling $17.7 million.

The company's stock dropped 83 cents to $21.66.

This story was created through a joint venture between TheStreet.com and IRIS.