Barnes & Noble swings to loss in Q1

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New York City Barnes & Noble reported Tuesday that it posted a loss of $62.5 million in the quarter ended July 31, compared with a profit of $12.3 million in the year-ago period.

The book seller cited lagging sales and legal expenses related to its proxy fight with shareholder Ron Burkle for the negative swing.

Sales in the quarter, which reflect last September’s purchase of College Booksellers, increased 21% to $1.4 billion, matching Wall Street expectations. Online sales, which include the Nook e-reader and e-books, increased 42% to $145 million.

Barnes & Noble bricks-and-mortar store sales dropped 2% to $1.0 billion, with same-store sales dipping 0.9% for the quarter.

Barnes & Noble, which earlier this month put itself up for sale, is in the midst of a proxy war being waged by its two largest shareholders. The company has said that legal and other costs surrounding the contest would hurt results, and it lowered its full-year forecast.