Barnes & Noble

(BKS) - Get Report

Thursday preannounced full-year 2003 earnings below analysts' expectations and a double-digit increase in fourth-quarter sales.

The company said it expects earnings of $2.07 a share, at the top end of its range, but below the consensus estimate of $2.09 a share compiled by Thomson First Call. Barnes & Noble earned $1.56 a share a year ago. The company did not release other financial results, including fourth-quarter earnings.

For the quarter ended Jan. 31, total sales rose 10% from a year ago to $1.3 billion, while same-store sales increased 6.4%. Full-year sales were up 8% to $3.9 billion, with same-store sales up 3.2%.

The company is expected to release full earnings results for fiscal 2003 and guidance for fiscal 2004 on March 18.

Barnes & Noble is in the process of buying control of its spinoff

Barnesandnoble.com

(BNBN)

, which recently reported a narrower fourth-quarter loss.