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

Investor Contacts:
Joseph J. Lombardi
Chief Financial Officer
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
(212) 633-3215
jlombardi@bn.com

Andy Milevoj
Director of Investor Relations
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
(212) 633-3489
amilevoj@bn.com

05/21/2009

Barnes & Noble Reports First Quarter Financial Results

Comparable Store Sales and Earnings per Share Exceed Forecasts

Raises Full-Year Guidance

New York, NY (May 21, 2009)—Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller, today reported sales and earnings for the first quarter ended May 2, 2009.  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, 2009, payable on June 30, 2009.

Total sales for the first quarter were $1.1 billion, a 4% decrease compared to the prior year.  Barnes & Noble store sales decreased 3.5% to $989 million, with comparable store sales decreasing 5.7% for the quarter, slightly better than guidance for a decrease of 6% to 9%.  Barnes & Noble.com sales were $93 million for the quarter, a 7% decrease compared to the prior year. 

Bestselling titles during the quarter included two Barnes & Noble Recommends selections: Sandra Dallas’ Prayers for Sale and Spencer Quinn’s Dog on It.  Additional bestsellers include Steve Harvey’s Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny

The first quarter net loss from continuing operations was $2.1 million or $0.04 per share, compared to guidance of a loss per share of $0.10 to $0.20.  The company was able to exceed its guidance due to better than expected revenues, gross margins and a continuous focus on expense management.

GUIDANCE

For the second quarter, the company expects comparable store sales at Barnes & Noble stores to decline 5% to 7%.  Second quarter earnings per share is expected to be in a range of $0.05 to $0.15, compared to $0.18 from continuing operations a year ago (excluding a physical inventory benefit).

Based on the company’s better than expected performance during the first quarter, the company is raising its full-year earnings per share guidance range to $1.10 to $1.40, from $0.95 to $1.25.  For the full year, the company now expects comparable store sales at Barnes & Noble stores to decline 3% to 5%, better than previous guidance for a comparable store sales decline of 4% to 6%.

As of May 2, 2009, the company operated 726 Barnes & Noble stores and 51 B. Dalton stores.  During the first quarter, six Barnes & Noble stores were opened and six were closed.  One B. Dalton store was closed 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 21, 2009, 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 results on or about August 20, 2009.

FINANCIAL TABLES

Download financial tables related to the sales and earnings for the first quarter ended May 2, 2009:

Consolidated Statements of Operations (13 KB)
Consolidated Balance Sheets (14 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 777 bookstores in 50 states. Barnes & Noble is the nation’s top bookseller in quality, and for the fifth year in a row, the top bookseller brand, as determined by a combination of the brand’s performance on 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 risks associated with data privacy and information security, 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.