Barnesandnoble.com Slips on Q4 Report Delay

Barnesandnoble.com (Nasdaq: BNBN) was at US$2.31, down 13 cents, in early trading Friday after the online bookseller said it would report fourth-quarter results on Wednesday, six days later than previously projected.

Reports quoted company officials as saying the delay was designed to give it more time to finish auditing the results, which will cover the quarter and year ended December 31st.

On January 10th, Barnesandnoble.com issued a warning about the outlook for the quarter. When making that announcement, the company said its acquisition of Fatbrain, completed in November, would result in a pro forma loss of $1.05 to $1.08 per share for the year.

At the time, Barnesandnoble.com pegged fourth-quarter sales at $103 million, up 36 percent from a year earlier, and put full-year sales at $318 million, up 65 percent.

In its outlook, the company said book and music sales were strong, and that sales from its new DVD-video store were better than expected. The company also said it ended the year with more than $225 million in cash and marketable securities, and no debt.

Last month, the online book store announced the creation of an electronic-publishing division, offering authors a royalty rate higher than those offered by publishing houses, in a bid to capture a share of the emerging market for digital books.

Vice chairman Steve Riggio said the new division, Barnes & Noble Digital, would be a “cornerstone” of the company’s plan to sell downloadable books.

The company is also strengthening ties with brick-and-mortar affiliate, Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) in order to capitalize on connections in the traditional retail world. An agreement announced in October allows customers to use the online and offline stores interchangeably for some goods and services.

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