Barnes & Noble on Thursday reported a net loss for its fiscal third quarter as sales in its Nook business, consisting of devices and digital content, fell 26% to $316 million .
The country’s largest bookstore chain posted a net loss of $6.1 million, or 18 cents a share for the quarter ended December 26, compared to a profit of $52 million, or 71 cents a year ago. Revenue fell 9% to $2.23 billion. Analysts had project a decline to $2.4 billion.
Barnes & Noble had warned of disappointing Nook results earlier this month weaker than expected sales of its tablets and e-readers. In its earnings release today, Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch said the company had “taken significant action to begin to right size our cost structure in the Nook segment.”
But he noted the company remains committed to Nook Media and its tablet and e-reader business. A New York Times story earlier this week suggested the bookseller might shift away from building devices, citing unnamed sources. The Nook line has struggled to compete especially in the tablet market with the iPad, the Kindle and Samsung Galaxy Tab.
Publishing and education company Pearson PLC in December agreed to invest $89.5 million in cash for a 5% stake in the Nook business.
Sales at the company’s bookstores were also down during the quarter, dropping 10.3% to $1.5 billion. Leonard Riggio, the company’s founder, chairman and largest shareholder has offered to buy the chain’s 689 retail stores and take them private, according to an SEC filing on Monday.