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BRIEFLY / RETAILING

Barnes & Noble Issues Earnings Warning

January 10, 2001|Reuters

Barnes & Noble Inc., the largest U.S. bookseller, warned that fiscal fourth-quarter earnings will be lower than expected because of disappointing holiday sales. The New York-based company said it projects earnings of $1.30 a share for its book segment for the quarter ending this month, compared with Wall Street's expectations of $1.46. It said it expects its video game segment to earn 6 cents, sharply lower than market expectations of 33 cents. Barnes & Noble said that its same-store superstore sales during the holiday period from Oct. 29 to Dec. 30 were up just 1.3%, and that same-store sales at its B. Dalton bookstores fell 3.3%. At its Babbage's video game and entertainment chain, same-store sales were down 12.5%, Barnes & Noble said, citing the shortage of Sony PlayStation game consoles as one reason for the decline. The holiday sales were a disappointment, Chief Executive Leonard Riggio said, particularly because the company had been outperforming the retail sector for the previous nine months. Barnes & Noble shares fell $1.13 to close at $23.75 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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