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Media Contact:
Mary Ellen Keating
Senior Vice President
Corporate Communications
(212) 633-3323
mkeating@bn.com

Investor Contacts:
Joseph J. Lombardi
Chief Financial Officer
(212) 633-3215
jlombardi@bn.com

Andy Milevoj
Director of Investor Relations
(212) 633-3489
amilevoj@bn.com

02/22/2011

Barnes & Noble Reports Fiscal 2011 Third Quarter Financial Results

Barnes & Noble.com Comparable Sales Increase 64%

Barnes & Noble Comparable Store Sales Increase 7.3%

Earnings per Share In-Line with Guidance

New York, NY (February 22, 2011)—Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller, today reported financial results for its fiscal 2011 third quarter ended January 29, 2011.

THIRD QUARTER RESULTS

Total sales for the third quarter were $2.3 billion, a 7% increase compared to the prior year period.  Barnes & Noble.com comparable sales increased 64% as compared to a year ago.  Barnes & Noble comparable store sales increased 7.3%, exceeding the company’s forecast for an increase of 5% to 7%.  Online and bookstore sales benefitted from strong consumer demand for NOOK™ products and related accessories as well as the company’s expanded Toys & Games selection.

Barnes & Noble College Booksellers (“College”) comparable store sales decreased 2.2% as compared to the prior year period.   The back-to-school College rush season was impacted by the inclement weather that affected many campuses throughout the country and extended the rush season from January into February, after the close of the company’s third fiscal quarter.  Factoring in the two additional weeks that contributed to this year’s rush season following the quarter’s end, comparable store sales decreased 1.3%, in-line with comparable sales guidance of flat to a decrease of 2%. 

For the third quarter, the company reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $170.1 million, in-line with guidance of $160 million to $190 million.  Consolidated third quarter earnings were $60.6 million, or $1.00 per share, also in-line with previously issued guidance of $0.90 to $1.20 per share.

In the quarter, the company also launched several significant initiatives to advance its strategy including:

  • The launch of NOOK Color™ – the award winning first full-color touch Reader’s Tablet
  • The launch of NOOK Newsstand™ – offering an extensive selection of digital newspapers and magazines, available in single copy and subscriptions in rich color
  • The launch of NOOK Kids™ – the most comprehensive catalog of children’s digital books and interactive books available to be read on NOOK Color, iPad and iPhone
  • The launch of an expanded Educational Toys & Games department in Barnes & Noble stores, and online at BN.com

“We’re pleased with our financial results this quarter, but just as importantly, the third quarter was another big quarter for the Company from the standpoint of key strategic progress that positions us well for the future,” said William Lynch, chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc.  “In the digital area, our eContent business continues to scale quickly such that we now sell twice as many eBooks as we do physical books at BN.com.  NOOK Color, launched in the third quarter, was named the best dedicated eReader by the Associated Press.   We’re very encouraged by the sell-through of that break-through device, as well as the newly launched NOOK Newsstand subscription service and NOOK Kids children’s digital library.   At retail, our enhanced Educational Toys & Games experience drove 47% comparable growth in the stores, and gives families yet another reason to feel good about shopping at Barnes & Noble.”

GUIDANCE

Due to a competitor’s recent announcement that their company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and the potential short-term impact that their announced store closures may have in the marketplace, the company has decided not to issue sales or earnings guidance for the balance of fiscal 2011.

Additionally, the company’s Board of Directors has decided to suspend its quarterly dividend payment of $0.25 per share.  This will provide the company the financial flexibility to continue investing into its high growth digital strategies, while simultaneously allowing the company to take advantage of any other market opportunities that may present themselves.

CONFERENCE CALL

A conference call with Barnes & Noble, Inc.’s senior management will be webcast beginning at 10:00 A.M. ET on Tuesday, February 22, 2011, and is accessible at www.barnesandnobleinc.com/webcasts

Barnes & Noble, Inc. will report full-year fiscal 2011 results on or about June 21, 2011.

FINANCIAL TABLES

Download financial tables related to the sales and earnings for the fiscal 2011 third quarter ended January 29, 2011:

Consolidated Statements of Operations (12 KB)
Consolidated Balance Sheets (12 KB)

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements (within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended) and information relating to Barnes & Noble that are based on the beliefs of the management of Barnes & Noble as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to the management of Barnes & Noble.  When used in this communication, the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “will”  and similar expressions, as they relate to Barnes & Noble or the management of Barnes & Noble, identify forward-looking statements.  Such statements reflect the current views of Barnes & Noble with respect to future events, the outcome of which is subject to certain risks, including, among others, the general economic environment and consumer spending patterns, decreased consumer demand for Barnes & Noble’s products, low growth or declining sales and net income due to various factors, possible disruptions in Barnes & Noble’s computer systems, telephone systems or supply chain, possible risks associated with data privacy, information security and intellectual property, possible work stoppages or increases in labor costs, possible increases in shipping rates or interruptions in shipping service, effects of competition, potential effects of a bankruptcy filing by one of Barnes & Noble’s largest competitors and actions taken by that competitor during bankruptcy, including store closures, sales of inventory at discounted prices and elimination of liabilities, higher-than-anticipated store closing or relocation costs, higher interest rates, the performance of Barnes & Noble’s online, digital and other initiatives, the performance and successful integration of acquired businesses, the success of Barnes & Noble’s strategic investments, unanticipated increases in merchandise, component or occupancy costs, unanticipated adverse litigation results or effects, the results or effects of any governmental review of Barnes & Noble’s stock option practices, product and component shortages, the outcome of Barnes & Noble’s evaluation of strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of Barnes & Noble, as announced on August 3, 2010, and other factors which may be outside of Barnes & Noble’s control, including those factors discussed in detail in Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” in Barnes & Noble’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed with the SEC on June 30, 2010, and in Barnes & Noble’s other filings made hereafter from time to time with the SEC. 

Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results or outcomes may vary materially from those described as anticipated, believed, estimated, expected, intended or planned.  Subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to Barnes & Noble or persons acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements in this paragraph.  Barnes & Noble undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise after the date of this communication.



About Barnes & Noble, Inc.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), the world's largest bookseller and a Fortune 500 company, operates 705 bookstores in 50 states. Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, also operates 636 college bookstores serving nearly 4 million students and faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States. Barnes & Noble is the nation's top bookseller brand for the seventh year in a row, as determined by a combination of the brand's performance on familiarity, quality, and purchase intent; the top bookseller in quality for the second year in a row and the number two retailer in trust, according to the EquiTrend® Brand Study by Harris Interactive®. Barnes & Noble conducts its online business through Barnes & Noble.com (www.bn.com), one of the Web's largest e-commerce sites, which also features more than two million titles in its NOOK Bookstore™  (www.bn.com/ebooks). Through Barnes & Noble’s NOOK™ eReading product offering, customers can buy and read eBooks on the widest range of platforms, including NOOK eBook Readers, devices from partner companies, and hundreds of the most popular mobile and computing devices using free NOOK software.

General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained via the Internet by visiting the company's corporate website: www.barnesandnobleinc.com.

NOOK™, NOOK Color™, NOOK Books™, NOOK Newsstand™, NOOK Books en español™, VividView™, NOOK Friends™, AliveTouch™, LendMe™, ArticleView™, Daily Shelf™, NOOK Kids™, NOOK Study™, NOOK Developer™, ReadAloud™, NOOK Book Personal Shopping™, Read In Store™, More In Store™, Free Friday™, PubIt! ™, Lifetime Library™, Read What You Love. Anywhere You Like™ and Touch the Future of Reading™ are trademarks of Barnes & Noble, Inc. Other trademarks referenced in this release are the property of their respective owners.

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