Barnes & Noble, Inc. today reported sales and earnings for its second quarter ended October 29, 2011.
Total sales decreased 0.6% as compared to the prior year, from $1.90 billion to $1.89 billion. Barnes & Noble store sales decreased 1% from $931 million to $918 million, with comparable sales decreasing 0.6%. Physical book sales declined, offset by increases in NOOK products and were positively affected by the liquidation of the remaining Borders stores. Comparable store sales improved each month throughout the quarter.
Barnes & Noble College sales declined 4% from $797 million to $768 million, due to a shift from selling new and used textbooks to lower priced, higher margin textbook rentals. Comparable store sales increased 0.4%. College comparable store sales reflect the retail selling price of a new or used textbook when rented, rather than solely the rental fee received and amortized over the rental period.
BN.com sales increased 17% over the prior year, from $177 million to $206 million. Comparable sales increased 38%, on top of a 59% increase a year ago. This increase was driven by continued growth of digital content sales and purchases of award winning NOOK(TM) devices. BN.com comparable sales reflect the actual selling price for eBooks sold under the agency model rather than solely the commission received.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grew 21% over the prior year, from $46 million to $56 million.
Retail EBITDA grew from $1.3 million to $21.0 million, benefiting from higher product margins this year. In addition, the prior year included $10 million of litigation and proxy contest costs. College EBITDA declined slightly from $95.3 million to $93.9 million. BN.com EBITDA losses increased from $50.2 million to $58.9 million, driven by planned product markdowns on the recently announced NOOK price adjustments, as well as higher advertising production costs.
Total company net loss was $6.6 million for the quarter, or $0.17 per share, as compared to a net loss of $12.6 million last year, or $0.22 per share. Included in the current quarter is a $0.06 loss per share related to the company's preferred stock dividend, in accordance with ASC 260, Earnings per Share. The dividend is deducted from earnings available to common shareholders in the earnings per share calculation and does not impact the company's results of operations.