BARNES & NOBLE INC. $43 (New York symbol BKS; WSSF Rating: Average) is the world’s largest bookseller, with 824 bookstores in 50 states. It also sells books and other products over the Internet.
In November 2004, the company handed out its 63% stake in video game retailer GameStop Corp. to its own stockholders as a special dividend. The spin-off hurt Barnes & Noble’s short-term prospects. But it also let it focus on improving profitability at its less-risky book selling business.
In the nine weeks ended December 31, 2005, sales at its Barnes & Noble superstores rose 5.2% to $1.1 billion from a year earlier. Same-store sales grew 2.3%. However, sales at its B. Dalton mall-based stores fell 18.4% to $41.3 million as the company continued to close unprofitable outlets. On a same-store basis, sales at this division grew 3.0%. Sales at the online operation rose 1.0%, to $106.1 million.
Greater efficiency and fewer inventory buildups at its stores should lift Barnes & Noble’s profits in the fiscal year ended January 31, 2006 to $2.02 a share, up 12.8% from $1.79 a year earlier. The stock now trades at 21.3 times that estimate.
The higher earnings have also let Barnes & Noble expand its stock buyback program. In the first nine months of fiscal 2006, it bought back roughly 10% of its shares. It also started paying a quarterly dividend of $0.15 a share. The annual rate of $0.60 yields 1.4%.
However, the company faces increasing competition from other online booksellers and large discount retailers such as Wal-Mart and Costco.
Barnes & Noble is a hold.
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What personal information do we collect?
The information we receive from customers helps us personalize and continually improve your online experience at TSI Network. TSI Network may collect personal information online for all legal purposes, which include, but are not limited to:
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Does TSI Network Use the Information It Receives?
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Changes to this Policy
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