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

Investor Contact:
Joseph J. Lombardi
Chief Financial Officer
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
(212) 633-3215

05/22/2008

Barnes & Noble Reports First Quarter Financial Results

Declares Quarterly Dividend

New York, NY (May 22, 2008)—Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller, today reported sales and earnings for the first quarter ended May 3, 2008.  In addition, the company also announced that its Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share for stockholders of record at the close of business on June 9, 2008, payable on June 30, 2008.

Sales for the first quarter increased 1.1% to $1.2 billion. Barnes & Noble store sales increased 1.1% to $1.0 billion, with comparable store sales decreasing 1.5% for the quarter, marginally below guidance for slightly negative comparable store sales.  Barnes & Noble.com comparable sales were $99.6 million for the quarter, a 7.2% increase compared to the prior year period.

Bestselling titles during the quarter included John Grisham’s The Appeal, Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture, Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, Sophie Kinsella’s Remember Me? and Jodi Picoult’s Change of Heart.

During the first quarter Barnes & Noble reached an agreement in principle with the State of California (subject to final Board of Equalization review and approval expected at the end of May) to settle its long-standing dispute regarding the collection of sales and use taxes on sales made by Barnes & Noble.com from 1999 to 2005.  As a result, the company recorded a one-time pre-tax charge of approximately $8.3 million.

Including the one-time charge noted above, the first quarter net loss was $2.2 million or $0.04 per share.  Excluding the charge, first quarter net earnings on an operating basis were $0.05 per share, at the low end of the company’s guidance of $0.05 to $0.10 per share. 

In the first quarter of 2008, the company acquired 6.5 million shares under its share repurchase program at an average price of $30.57 per share or $199.7 million in total.

GUIDANCE

Based on lower than expected first quarter sales results and the overall retail sales environment, the company is lowering its full-year comparable store sales guidance at Barnes & Noble stores from slightly positive to slightly negative.  Additionally, due to the difficult comparison against last year’s July release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, second quarter comparable store sales are expected to decrease in the low to mid-single digits.

Although the company is lowering its sales forecast, it continues to expect full-year earnings per share to be in a range of $1.70 to $1.90 based on a reduced fully diluted share count of 58.5 million shares as a result of the share repurchase activity noted above.  Second quarter earnings per share are expected to be in a range of $0.08 to $0.13.

As of May 3, 2008, the company operated 717 Barnes & Noble stores and 83 B. Dalton stores.  During the first quarter, eleven Barnes & Noble stores were opened and seven were closed.  B. Dalton closed two stores during the quarter.

A conference call with Barnes & Noble, Inc.’s senior management will be webcast beginning at 10:00 A.M. ET on Thursday, May 22, 2008, and is accessible at www.barnesandnobleinc.com/webcasts.  The call will also be archived at www.earnings.com for one year.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. will report second quarter earnings on or about August 21, 2008.

FINANCIAL TABLES

Download financial tables related to the sales and earnings for the first quarter ended May 3, 2008:

Consolidated Statements of Operations (10 KB)
Consolidated Balance Sheets (13 KB)

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 800 bookstores in 50 states. For the fourth year in a row, the company is the nation’s top bookseller brand, as determined by a brand’s overall strength based on its combination of familiarity, quality and purchase intent, 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.

General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained via the Internet by visiting the company’s corporate website: 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 performance and successful integration of acquired businesses, the success of the company’s strategic investments, unanticipated increases in merchandise or occupancy costs, unanticipated adverse litigation results or effects, the results or effects of any governmental review of the company’s stock option practices, 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.