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Contact: Mary Ellen Keating, Senior Vice President
Corporate Communications, Barnes & Noble, Inc.                                  
(212) 633-3323
mkeating@bn.com

05/17/2005

BARNES & NOBLE REPORTS FIRST QUARTER FINANCIAL RESULTS

Achieves Earnings of $0.13 Per Share

New York, NY (May 17, 2005)—Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller, today reported sales and earnings for the first quarter ended April 30, 2005.

Net earnings from continuing operations increased 37% to $9.9 million or $0.13 per share, versus guidance of $0.11 to $0.13 per share.  Consolidated net earnings decreased $0.03 per share versus last year due to the $0.06 per share earned from the company’s investment in GameStop in the first quarter a year ago, prior to the tax-free spin-off of GameStop in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Comparable store sales at Barnes & Noble were 2.2% for the quarter, in line with company guidance for a low single digit increase.

Total first quarter sales were $1,097.2 million, increasing 4% from $1,058.2 million a year ago.  Barnes & Noble store sales were $959.2 million, increasing 5% over the prior year.  Barnes & Noble.com sales were $91.4 million, decreasing (0.6%) from the prior year.  B. Dalton sales were $31.5 million, a decrease of (21%) over the prior year, due primarily to store closings and a (0.3%) comparable store sales decline.

As previously announced, the company completed a $250 million share repurchase program and had a new $200 million share repurchase program authorized during the first quarter.  The company repurchased approximately $75 million of shares in the first quarter under both programs.

“We are pleased with the company’s sales and earnings performance,” said Steve Riggio, chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc.  “The overall tone of business was as expected, and we anticipate accelerated sales growth in the second quarter with the arrival of the sixth Harry Potter book on July 16th.”

As of April 30, 2005, the company operated 671 Barnes & Noble stores and 150 B. Dalton stores.  During the first quarter, seven Barnes & Noble stores were opened and two were closed.  B. Dalton closed four stores during the quarter.

GUIDANCE

For the second quarter, the company expects comparable store sales at Barnes & Noble stores to be in the mid-single digits. For the full year, the company continues to expect comparable store sales to increase approximately 3%.  Sales at Barnes & Noble.com are expected to increase at similar levels.

Barnes & Noble, Inc.’s second quarter earnings per share is expected to be in a range of $0.19 to $0.21, and for the full year the company continues to expect earnings per share to be in a range of $1.94 to $1.98.

A conference call with Barnes & Noble, Inc.’s senior management will be webcast beginning at 11:00 A.M. ET on Tuesday, May 17, 2005, and is accessible at www.barnesandnobleinc.com/webcasts.  The call will also be archived at www.fulldisclosure.com for one year.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. will report second quarter earnings on or about August 18, 2005.

FINANCIAL TABLES

Here you can download financial tables related to the sales and earnings for the first quarter ended April 30, 2005.

Consolidated Statements of Operations (11KB)
Consolidated Balance Sheets (14KB)

To read the tables, you will need Adobe Reader, available at no charge from Adobe. Click here to download Adobe Reader and follow the step-by-step instructions. 



About Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world's largest bookseller and a Fortune 500 company, operates 820 bookstores in 50 states. For the third year in a row, the company is the nation's top retail brand for quality, according to the EquiTrend® Brand Study by Harris Interactive®. Barnes & Noble conducts its online business through Barnes & Noble.com (www.bn.com), one of the Web's largest e-commerce sites and the number-one brand among e-commerce companies, according to the latest EquiTrend survey. In addition to its retail operations, Barnes & Noble is one of the largest book publishers in the world. Its subsidiary, Sterling Publishing, publishes over 1,100 new titles a year and has an active list of over 5,000 titles.

General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained via the Internet by visiting the company's corporate Web site:
www.barnesandnobleinc.com.

SAFE HARBOR

This press release contains “forward-looking statements.”  Barnes & Noble is including this statement for the express purpose of availing itself of the protections of the safe harbor provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 with respect to all such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on currently available information and represent the beliefs of the management of the company.  These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially.  These risks include, but are not limited to, general economic and market conditions, decreased consumer demand for the company’s products, possible disruptions in the company’s computer or telephone systems, possible work stoppages or increases in labor costs, possible increases in shipping rates or interruptions in shipping

service, effects of competition, possible disruptions or delays in the opening of new stores or the inability to obtain suitable sites for new stores, higher than anticipated store closing or relocation costs, higher interest rates, the performance of the company’s online and other initiatives, the successful integration of acquired businesses, the successful and timely completion and integration of the company’s new New Jersey distribution center, unanticipated increases in merchandise or occupancy costs, unanticipated adverse litigation results or effects, product shortages, and other factors which may be outside of the company’s control.   Please refer to the company’s annual, quarterly and periodic reports on file with the SEC for a more detailed discussion of these and other risks that could cause results to differ materially.