New stores should spur sales growth

Article Excerpt

BARNES & NOBLE, INC. $39 (New York symbol BKS; Aggressive Growth Portfolio, Consumer sector; WSSF Rating: Average) is the largest bookseller in the United States, with 680 Barnes & Noble superstores, and 120 mall-based B. Dalton stores. It also sells books and other products over the Internet. In its first fiscal quarter ended April 29, 2006, profits rose to $0.14 a share from $0.13 a year earlier. Sales crept up to $1.11 billion from $1.10 billion. Same-store sales at Barnes & Noble stores fell 0.3%, while same-store sales at B. Dalton fell 1.8%. The first quarter is typically the slowest for Barnes & Noble, as publishers save their best titles for the busy summer and Christmas holiday buying seasons. The company is currently closing many of its under-performing mall stores, and moving some of its older superstores to better locations. A new distribution center in New Jersey should also improve its profitability. The stock got as high as $48 in March, but has moved…

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