NEW YORK/AUTHORLINK NEWS/August 24, 2010– Barnes & Noble Inc. Tuesday reported a first-quarter fiscal 2011 loss of $62.5 million, or $1.12 a share, on net income of $12.3 million, compared to the year-ago period. But total sales rose 21% to $1.4 billion. Wall Street analysts expected the company to lose 80 cents a share, but the board declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share.

Barnes & sales increased 42% as compared to the prior year to $145 million, with comparable sales increasing 53%. Barnes & Noble store sales decreased 2% to $1.0 billion, with comparable store sales decreasing 0.9% for the quarter. In 2011, total sales include Barnes & Noble College Bookstore (“College”) sales of $226 million. College’s comparable store sales increased 2.9%, exceeding guidance of flat comparable store sales.

For the first quarter, the company reported a consolidated net loss of $63 million, or $1.12 per share. Included in these results are pre-tax legal expenses of $9.5 million, or $0.11 per share, resulting primarily from the Delaware Court of Chancery litigation, in which the Court flatly rejected Yucaipa’s challenge to the company’s stockholders rights plan. Excluding these expenses, the first quarter net loss was $1.02 per share, in-line with previously issued guidance of $0.85 to $1.15 per share.

“As we have previously stated, the company is allocating significant financial resources to strengthen its digital businesses in fiscal 2011 to maximize our ability to power growth and capture share of the emerging digital market,” continued William Lynch. “We are encouraged by our results to date, which are ahead of plan, and remain committed to transforming Barnes & Noble to a company committed to expanding and enhancing the reading experience for book lovers and college students through rich physical and digital content, an industry-leading retail and eCommerce offering and world-class digital devices, software and technology.”

The company is financing investments in its digital strategy through working capital and its $1 billion revolving credit facility, of which $380 million was outstanding as of the end of the quarter.

Looking ahead for the fiscal 2011 second quarter ending October 30, 2010, comparable store sales at Barnes & Noble stores are expected to decrease between 1% to 3% and College’s comparable store sales are expected to be flat. The company continues to expect full-year comparable store sales at Barnes & Noble stores to be in a range of flat to an increase of 3% and continues to expect College’s comparable store sales to be flat.

In its press release today, the company: “Barnes & Noble is well along the path of transforming its business model from that of a multi-channel retailer to that of a leading content, commerce and technology company. In nine short months, since the launch of its NOOK eBook Reader, and one year after it entered the eBook arena, Barnes & Noble has already achieved greater market share in digital books than it has in physical books. Since launch, sales of NOOK have been nothing short of spectacular and consistently above plan – sales momentum accelerated even further following the company’s move to lower the price of NOOK from $259 to $199 and the introduction of NOOK Wi-Fi® for $149.”