Barnes & Noble posts fiscal 3rd-quarter profit

NEW YORK (AP) — Barnes & Noble says a big reduction in losses for its Nook digital reading tablets helped improve its fiscal third-quarter net income.

The New York-based bookseller reported earnings of $80.3 million for the quarter ended Jan 30, more than doubling its earnings from continuing operations of $39 million the same quarter last year. The company posted income of $33 million from discontinued operations a year ago.

On a per-share basis, earnings were $1.04, compared with last year’s 96 cents, or 45 cents from continuing operations.

Revenue of $1.41 billion fell 1.8 percent from the same period last year.

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Analysts surveyed by FactSet forecast earnings per share of $1.06 on revenue of $1.41 billion, on average.

The company said its reduction of Nook expenses improved earnings for the e-reader division and cut Nook losses by 62 percent. The company said it would continue to pursue reductions in Nook expenses but remained committed to the e-reader product.

Barnes & Noble reported a 1.3 percent increase in comparable-store sales for the quarter, excluding Nook products. The metric — which measure sales in stores open at least a year — is a key metric of a retailer’s health.

The company expects its net closings to be about 10 stores during fiscal 2017, the fewest number of store closings since fiscal 2000. The company also said it would be opening four stores in fiscal 2017 while introducing new “concept stores,” reflecting its optimism in the retail division.

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Barnes & Noble shares have risen 24 percent since the beginning of the year, but it is down 34 percent in the last 12 months. In afternoon trading, shares of Barnes & Noble Inc. rose more than 6 percent to $10.87.