Thursday, August 31, 2017
After Bigger Than Expected Loss, Barnes & Noble Education Shares Sink to New Low
It's been a tough competition to see which branch of the divided Barnes & Noble can register the most disappointing performance, with Barnes & Noble Education taking the lead in reporting disappointing first quarter fiscal 2018 earnings. The consolidated net loss grew to $34.8 million, or 75 cents a share, compared to a loss of $27.9 million a year ago -- and against analysts' expectations of a loss of 55 cents a share. In early Wednesday trading, shares are down more than 15 percent as a result to a new all-time low of about $5.75 a share. That puts their market capitalization at about $265 million, over 60 percent below where the company stood when it was spunoff as a separate entity in July 2015.
Same-store sales fell 2.5 percent, "in line with expectations" and "primarily attributable to textbook sales, which were down 8.5 percent." Comp sales are"projected to decline in the low- to mid-single digit percentage point range year over year." First quarter sales of $355.7 million were up considerably, gaining $116.5 million, "primarily due to the MBS acquisition," and they opened 24 new physical stores during the period.
The retirement of ceo Max Roberts means they paid him $4.4 million in salary, bonus and benefits, plus a "one-time cash transition payment" of $500,000 -- with another transition payment of $300,000 to new ceo Mike Huseby.
Susan Wadsworth-Booth will join Kent State University Press as director starting September 11. Previously she was director of the Duquesne University Press in Pittsburgh.
Elina Vaysbeyn has been promoted to associate director of marketing for Dutton.
Concepción de León explains to readers the new Newsbook column she is writing for the NYT, providing "timely reading lists to help readers understand issues in the news." It is "part of a larger effort by the Books desk to offer more service-oriented content."
Scholastic, which has several distribution centers in Texas (and all but the Houston branch are operating normally) announced "a company-wide response to support both the short-term and long-term efforts" in response to Hurricane Harvey. The company made a $25,000 contribution to the Red Cross, and intends to "make a sizable book donation" to help schools rebuild their libraries once the need is assessed.
In the context of a fall preview piece listing some of the big books on the way, the AP notes the year's lack of a "big literary publication." Scribner publisher Nan Graham notes, "We've been disappointed in sales, and other publishers have been disappointed. I think it's harder for new books to break through because people are reading the books that other people are reading. They're looking to talk to other people about something they have in common. And that drive seems more intense right now. Is that the Trump effect? Sure."
Knopf Doubleday executive director of publicity Paul Bogaards adds, "People are indeed distracted, and there's no sign of it letting up. Many are weary from their social feeds — mentally exhausted — and some, perhaps, are simply choosing to binge watch their favorite television series and eat copious amounts of ice cream rather than read a contemporary, literary novel."
The Center for Fiction announced the shortlist for its First Novel Prize. The seven finalists:
As Lie Is to Grin, by Simeon Marsalis
Empire of Glass, by Kaitlin Solimine
Mikhail and Margarita, by Julie Lekstrom Himes
The Second Mrs. Hockaday, by Susan Rivers
Spaceman in Bohemia, by Jaroslav Kalfar
Tiger Pelt, by Annabelle Kim
What to Do About the Solomons, by Bethany Ball