Barnes & Noble reported fiscal fourth quarter sales after the close of the market on Wednesday. Sales fell $33 million (or 3.6 percent) to $877 million in the quarter. Retail sales fell $17 million -- even as physical book unit sales as measured by Nielsen Bookscan continue to rise, as Amazon gains market share at BN's partial expenses, and Nook sales, which don't have all that much further to fall, declined $10.5 million, to $42 million for the quarter. Same-store sales were down 0.8 percent in the quarter, and the company continued to blame "store closures and lower online sales."
Earnings declined in the quarter as well; Retail had operating loss of $34.9 million and Nook recorded an operating loss of $23.1 million; EBITDA shows a $26 million loss, including a $20.9 million pension settlement charge. The final quarter's losses put the company back in the red for the year, as well. After finally showing positive net income the previous year of $36.6 million, the company returned to a net loss of $24.5 million for fiscal 2016.
For the full year, sales of $4.164 billion were down 3.1 percent, from $4,297 billion a year ago. Nook sales were a mere $191.5 million; retail sales were $4.028 billion (before eliminations).