Barnes & Noble Reports 5.7% Sales Gain In Third Quarter

November 22, 2007
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MAIN NEWS HEADLINES
November 22 – November 29, 2007 Edition

Barnes & Noble
Reports 5.7% Sales
Gain In Third Quarter

NEW YORK, NY/11/20/07—Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller, today reported sales for the third quarter increased 5.7% to $1.2 billion.  Barnes & Noble store sales increased 4.5% to $1.0 billion, with comparable store sales increasing 2.6% for the quarter, at the high end of guidance for a flat to low-single digit increase.  Barnes & Noble.com sales were $108.2 million for the quarter, a 14.5% comparable sales increase compared to the prior year period. 

Bestselling titles during the quarter included Alan Greenspan’s The Age of Turbulence, John Grisham’s Playing for Pizza, Ken Follett’s World Without End, Nicholas Sparks’ The Choice and Stephen Colbert’s I Am America (and So Can You!).

Third quarter net earnings were $4.4 million or $0.07 per share.  Included in third quarter net earnings was an after tax benefit of $6.2 million, or $0.09 per share, resulting from a more favorable physical inventory shortage rate than previously estimated and accrued.  Excluding this benefit, third quarter net loss per share was $1.8 million, or $0.03 per share, better than guidance of a loss of $0.06 to $0.10 per share.

“The company’s sales continued to perform at the higher end of expectations, due in part to strong sales of new releases and bestsellers, which combined with a better than expected gross margin rate enabled the company to outperform its third quarter earnings expectations,” said Steve Riggio, chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc.  “In addition, we are encouraged by the sales trends at Barnes & Noble.com that began earlier this year and continued through the third quarter, in which we launched a newly designed website.”

In the third quarter of 2007, the company acquired 4.9 million shares for $172.5 million under its share repurchase program.  Year-to-date, the company acquired 6.0 million shares for $219.9 million under its share repurchase program.  The company has $232.4 million remaining under its existing share repurchase authorization.

In addition, the company also announced that its Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.15 per share for stockholders of record at the close of business on December 7, 2007, payable on December 28, 2007.

For the fourth quarter and full year, the company expects comparable store sales at Barnes & Noble stores to increase in the low-single digits.  The company previously expected full year comparable store sales to range from flat to slightly positive. 

As of November 3, 2007, the company operated 709 Barnes & Noble stores and 92 B. Dalton stores.  During the third quarter, 14 Barnes & Noble stores were opened and three were closed. 

Barnes & Noble, Inc. will report holiday sales results on or about January 10, 2008.

About Barnes & Noble, Inc.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller and a Fortune 500 company, operates 801 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 <http://www.bn.com/> ), one of the Web’s largest e-commerce sites.

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