B&N 2Q loss in line with guidance

NEW YORK Barnes & Noble reported that total sales for the second quarter were $1.9 billion, including sales of Barnes & Noble College Booksellers (“College”) of $798 million. Excluding College, total sales increased 1% over the prior year period. Comparable sales at Barnes & Noble.com increased 59% driven by increases in core products and sales of digital devices and digital content, the company reported. Barnes & Noble comparable-store sales decreased by 3.3% and College’s comparable-store sales decreased by 1.5%.

The consolidated second quarter net loss was $12.6 million, or 22 cents per share, in-line with previously issued guidance of earnings of 5 cents per share to a loss of 25 cents per share, according to the company.

During the three-day post-Thanksgiving weekend, the company said it experienced a strong comparable-store sales increase of 17.2% at Barnes & Noble stores and a comparable sales increase of 105.7% online.

Barnes & Noble.com’s comparable sales are expected to increase by approximately 75% for both the third quarter and the full year.  The company believes these sales increases will be driven primarily by growing sales in core products and the exploding digital content business.  By fiscal year end, the company expects that digital content sales will achieve a $400 million full-year run-rate.

Barnes & Noble comparable-store sales are expected to increase between 5% and 7% for the third quarter, and to be in a range of flat to 3% for the full year. 

College’s comparable store sales are expected to be in a range of flat to a decrease of 2% for the third quarter and the full year.

Third quarter earnings per share are expected to be in a range of 90 cents to $1.20.   Full-year fiscal 2011 losses per share are expected to be in a range of 75 cents to $1.15.