Media

Barnes & Noble misses Street expectations, but thankfully Nook business is up nearly 40%

NOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last.

Barnes & Noble missed Wall Street expectations with its fiscal third-quarter results on Tuesday, but at least it had some positive news on deck. Not only did the company announce the $199 8GB Nook Tablet, but also its overall Nook business is up almost 40 percent from a year ago.

The company is in the midst of transforming itself from a brick-and-mortar bookseller to one supported by hardware and digital sales. The big question on investor and consumer minds is if the company can survive in the long-term with incredibly strong competition from Amazon on all fronts. Amazon’s price-busting $199 Kindle Fire is the reason Barnes & Noble launched the $199 Nook Tablet, and it will remain the primary competition for the foreseeable future.

Barnes & Noble reported that revenues were up 5 percent against the year-ago quarter. Net income ended up at $52 million, which is flat from last year’s earnings. Third quarter earnings per share ended up at $0.71 a share. Analysts had predicted $1.01 per share.

The biggest positive of the report was that the total Nook business revenues were up 38 percent year-over-year to $542 million. Nook hardware sales, including the Simple Touch, Color and Tablet, increased 64 percent year-over-year. Digital content sales, including digital books, digital newsstand, and apps, increased a massive 85 percent against the year-ago quarter.

While the news was decidedly mixed, investors did not appear to be shaken in early trading Tuesday. Barnes & Noble’s share price on the NYSE was slightly higher at $13.24 per share, a 1 percent gain for the day, as of this writing.

Barnes & Noble store photo: Brokentaco/Flickr