Barnes & Noble, Zillow Slump: Tech Winners & Losers (Update1)
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Barnes & Noble
The book retailer reported losses of 86 cents per share, better than the 89 cents per share predicted by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Revenues were $1.33 billion, an 8.5% decrease year-over-year that was just ahead of estimates of $1.32 billion. Although they beat those consensus estimates, the company's other results were discouraging, with retail sales down 9.9% from the same quarter last year and Nook sales down 20.2%.
Following the results, Barnes & Noble founder and chairman Leonard Riggio disclosed that he was dropping his bid to buy the company's retail stores.
First announced in February, that move was intended to bolster the Nook unit and help with an eventual sale or spinoff. "While I reserve the right to pursue an offer in the future, I believe it is in the company's best interests to focus on the business at hand," Riggio said in the SEC filing. "Right now our priority should be to serve the more than 10 million customers who own Nook devices, to concentrate on building our Retail business, and to accelerate the sale of Nook products in our stores, and in the marketplace."
Despite these developments, Michael P. Huseby, the president of Barnes & Noble and CEO of Nook Media expressed confidence in the Nook's future, saying in a statement, "At least one new Nook device will be released for the coming holiday season and further products are in development."
The struggling online retailer beat expectations, reporting non-GAAP earnings of 32 cents a share on $9.3 billion in sales. Analysts were expecting 12 cents a share on sales of $9.13 billion. Growth was strongest in the mobile and appliances departments and weakest in gaming and digital imaging.
In addition, the company has continued to cut costs, eliminating $65 million in annual costs during this quarter and reducing costs by $390 million through its Renew Blue revival blueprint.
"While we are clear that there's much more work ahead, we have made measurable progress since we unveiled Renew Blue last year, including near-flat comparable store sales, substantial cost take outs, and better than expected earnings in the past three consecutive quarters," President and CEO Hubert Joly said in the earnings call. He enumerated six additional goals: accelerating online growth, accelerating multichannel customer experience, increasing revenue and gross profit per square foot, reducing the cost of goods sold for supply chain efficiencies, improving its US real estate portfolio, and further reducing selling, general, and administrative expenses.