Sales Rise at Borders

The company's profit falls, but meets estimates.
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Borders

(BGP)

said second-quarter sales rose 5.3% as the results from its domestic namesake stores and Waldenbooks were as expected, with the release of the latest "Harry Potter" novel lending strength to its books business.

The Ann Arbor, Mich., 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 Wall Street's estimates.

Same-store sales for the quarter were in line with expectations, increasing by 1.8% at Borders superstores and by 1.9% at the Waldenbooks specialty retail segment, which includes Waldenbooks, Borders Express, Borders Outlet and airport stores.

For the third quarter, Borders is predicting a loss of 8 cents to 12 cents a share. The projection includes the effect of an estimated charge of about 2 cents a share. Comp sales at Borders superstores are expected to be flat to up slightly, and same-store sales at Waldenbooks specialty retail should be unchanged to down by a low-single-digit percent.

The company expects fourth-quarter earnings of $1.80 to $1.90, including anticipated costs of roughly 4 cents, with comparable-store sales at Borders superstores slightly negative to slightly positive, and comp sales at Waldenbooks specialty retail flat to down in the low single digits. For the full year, Borders sees a profit of $1.60 to $1.70, with charges of 9 cents to 11 cents.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call expect a loss of 2 cents in the third quarter and a profit of $1.80 for the fourth quarter.