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Barnes & Noble Education

Barnes & Noble spikes on plan to spin off beleaguered Nook business

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Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE:BKS) jumped in morning trade after the U.S. bookseller said it would spin off its Nook tablets and college books business.

Barnes & Noble jumped 9.1 percent to $22.43 at 10:49 a.m. in New York. Through yesterday’s close, the stock had climbed 38 percent this year.

The spinoff will be completed by the first quarter of next year, the New York-based company said in a statement. 

The Nook business has cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars as it tried to keep pace with deep-pocketed rivals such as Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc. and Google Inc.

Barnes & Noble said this month it would develop a tablet with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. after curbing production of Nook tablets last year because of the losses.

"We believe we are now in a better position to begin in earnest those steps necessary to accomplish a separation of NOOK Media and Barnes & Noble Retail," Chief Executive Officer Michael Huseby said in the statement. "We have determined that these businesses will have the best chance of optimizing shareholder value if they are capitalized and operated separately.

He added: "We fully expect that our Retail and Nook Media businesses will continue to have long-term, successful business relationships with each other after separation."

The company also reported fourth-quarter results today, showing a drop in the bookstore chain’s comparable sales, as well as continuing losses at the Nook unit. Barnes & Noble predicted that same-store sales would decline in the “low-single digits” this fiscal year.

Net loss shrank to $36.7 million, or 72 cents per share, from a net loss of $114.8 million, or $2.04 per share, a year earlier. The retail segment generated $53.1 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization last quarter. The Nook unit, meanwhile, lost $56 million on an Ebitda basis, and the red ink will continue this year, the company said.

Revenue rose 3.5 percent to $1.32 billion, lifted by growth at its college business. Nook sales accounted for less than 10 percent of the total, while almost three-quarters came from the retail operations. The college unit, which includes lucrative textbook sales and rentals, made up the rest.

 

 

Quick facts: Barnes & Noble Education

Price: $3.25

Market: NYSE
Market Cap: $154.72 m
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