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Profit Rises at Barnes & Noble

Sales for the second quarter rose 6% to $1.17 billion.
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Barnes & Noble

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said the release of the latest "Harry Potter" novel increased traffic in its stores and online during the latest quarter, and the bookseller indicated that its business is on track starting the second half of the year.

Sales for the second quarter rose 6% to $1.17 billion from $1.10 billion a year ago. Same-store sales at Barnes & Noble stores rose 4.3% for the quarter.

The company earned $13.5 million, or 18 cents a share, in the quarter. That includes a charge of 2 cents a share. Before the charge, Barnes & Noble would have earned 20 cents. Last year, net income was 12 cents a share, while the company's profit before items was 17 cents.

Barnes & Noble expects comp sales at its namkesake stores to rise by a low-single-digits percent in the third quarter and by about 3% for the full year.

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The company expects a third-quarter loss of 1 cent to 4 cents a share. Guidance for the third quarter includes costs of roughly 3 cents a share associated with a new distribution center.

Barnes & Noble continues to project earnings of $1.94 to $1.98 for the fiscal year.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 20 cents in the second quarter. Wall Street was looking for earnings of 2 cents in the third quarter and a profit of $1.98 for the year.

Earlier this week, competing bookseller



said sales for the quarter ended July 23 totaled $891.6 million. Borders earned 2 cents a share in the quarter, down from 10 cents last year. Before a charge, the company earned 4 cents in the most recent quarter, meeting estimates.