Will Barnes & Noble Ever Get Earnings Right?

When Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) reported its fiscal third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Thursday, the bookstore chain said that it had $0.91 in earnings per share (EPS) and $1.20 billion in revenue. This compares with consensus estimates calling for $1.10 in EPS and $1.24 billion in revenue, as well as last year’s net loss of $0.87 per share and $1.23 billion in revenue.

During the most recent quarter, comparable store sales increased 1.1%, reflecting what management is calling the company’s best quarterly performance in several years.

Third-quarter results include asset impairment charges of $22.1 million and non-recurring professional fees of $5.1 million. The prior-year quarter included asset impairment charges of $135.4 million and severance charges of $10.7 million.

Looking ahead to the 2019 full year, the company expects to see EBITDA in the range of $140 million to $155 million. This outlook includes the impact of incremental investments the company is making in its business, as well as lower than expected post-holiday sales. Consensus estimates call for $0.37 in EPS and $3.57 billion in revenue for the year.

Len Riggio, board chair of Barnes & Noble, commented:

In fiscal 2019, we have been focused on growing the top line, which contributed to our best holiday in years. Sales benefitted from our new ad campaign, increased marketing and promotions, and an improved omni-channel experience for our customers. We believe these efforts are laying the foundation for sustained growth.

Shares of Barnes & Noble were last seen down more than 13% at $5.07, in a 52-week range of $4.45 to $7.81. The stock has a consensus price target of $8.75.

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