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On March 19, 2009, Barnes & Noble ( BKS) reported that its Q4 FY08 net income plunged 29.5%, hurt by a decline in customer traffic, lower spending on books and music, and higher charges. Net income decreased to $81.15 million or $1.46 per share from $115.04 million or $1.79 per share a year ago. Excluding one-time items, the company earned $93.30 million or $1.67 per share, missing the most recent consensus estimate of $1.48 per share.

Revenue fell 6.2% to $1.63 billion from $1.74 billion a year ago, on the back of declining comparable store sales and reduced traffic at its stores. On a same-store basis, sales at stores declined 7.3% year-over-year. Furthermore, sales at Barnes & Noble stores slipped 4.8% compared to the same quarter last year, while Barnes & Noble.com sales dropped 10.4% to $157.00 million.

The company opened five Barnes & Noble stores and closed down seven others, taking its stores count to 726 stores. In addition, it closed 19 B. Dalton stores, taking the total B. Dalton store count to 52 stores.

Recently, Barnes & Noble declared a quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share, payable on March 31, 2009. In addition, the company acquired Fictionwise for $15.70 million in cash and opened a new bookstore in the Asheville Mall at in Asheville, North Carolina.

For FY08, BKS net income shrunk 44.1% to $75.92 million or $1.32 per share from $135.80 million or $2.03 per share, while total revenue declined 3.1% to $5.12 billion from $5.29 billion in FY07.

Looking ahead to Q1 FY09, BKS expects its same-store sales at Barnes & Noble stores to fall 6.0% to 9.0%, and it expects loss to range between $0.10 per share and $0.20 per share. For FY09, the company expects its same-store sales at Barnes & Noble stores to decrease 4.0% to 6.0% and forecasts EPS in the range of $0.95 to $1.25 per share.

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