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Old 01-05-2012, 10:14 AM   #1
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WSJ: Investors Are Freaking Out About Barnes & Noble

Uh oh. Barnes & Noble cuts its financial guidance again, and now it is saying it may push its Nook e-reading business into a new company. Investors are not pleased.

Barnes & Noble shares are slumping 29% in pre-market trading as Barnes & Noble reduced its fiscal-year guidance. Barnes & Noble said it is evaluating its reporting segments, which may mean the company will report Nook as a separate line item, and it is looking at options to push the Nook into a separate business altogether.

Barnes & Noble said Nook device sales surged 70% during the 9-week holiday period ended Saturday, with the bookseller saying tablet sales exceeded expectations though Simple Touch lagged.

rest: http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2012/01/0...-barnes-noble/
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:23 AM   #2
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I was shorting this stock a few weeks ago at $16 through a derivative. I'm kicking myself because I took it off too soon. Damn, the stock is below $10 now. I hate being right but not being able to capitalize on it because of lack of confidence.

About ~1.5yrs ago, I predicted this company would go out of business within 5 years. I'm keeping my original time table...they have ~3.5 yrs left.

So HP, RIMM, and Dell, et al, all failed with their tablets but B&N is going to succeed and do enough to save their Bricks and Mortar business? I don't see them hanging onto their market share. Also, is there really enough synergy between the Nook and the stores to justify keeping the stores open 2 years down the road when they are completely dead weight? Their core business is deteriorating. The synergies between the two could easily be accomplished through a commercial agreement with any store with wifi, the nook and other physical books can be sold online, electronics retailers can sell the nook retail.

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Old 01-05-2012, 10:45 AM   #3
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Becoming a "kiosk" business, a permanent presence in a larger store or mall, allowing them to sell books and devices physically and online, would probably work for B&N. It could allow them to branch out into markets that did not merit a full store, and actually gain in visual presence, like the ubiquitous cell phone and accessory stores and kiosks.

It would be a severe restructuring of the retail level, but probably worth the effort in the long run.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:05 AM   #4
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Putting nook in a separate business would just about doom their stores, wouldn't it? Since they were doubling down on nook saving the company.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:29 AM   #5
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Putting nook in a separate business would just about doom their stores, wouldn't it? Since they were doubling down on nook saving the company.
Don't need large bookstores anymore, nor do we need multiple locations in a given area. As ebook use continues to rise, bookstores and libraries will need to trim down and consolidate services not best served online.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:41 AM   #6
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I will cry when our local B&N closes. I want to run right over there and buy something right now. (well I did just spend money in the cafe just yesterday).

On a side note: what kind of bad/informal writing do they have in the Wall Street Journal these days?? I thought the OP was a paraphrase, but it's the actual article. Uh-oh indeed.

eP
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:18 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by elemenoP View Post
I will cry when our local B&N closes. I want to run right over there and buy something right now. (well I did just spend money in the cafe just yesterday).

On a side note: what kind of bad/informal writing do they have in the Wall Street Journal these days?? I thought the OP was a paraphrase, but it's the actual article. Uh-oh indeed.

eP
the wsj article was in a blog. here is the article. Barnes & Noble May Separate Nook Business as Losses Mount: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...#ixzz1ibLBju7Y
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:19 PM   #8
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Putting nook in a separate business would just about doom their stores, wouldn't it? Since they were doubling down on nook saving the company.
Agreed. My local B&N is pretty nice. I bought a few things there over the holidays.
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:27 PM   #9
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B&N Looks to spin off Nook

Via MSNBC:
http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_new...-nook-business

No surprise here; the clues were all over for the past six month.
Nook is a billion dollar a year business.
The concern, of course, is that if Nook alone is worth more than the entire B&N as currently consituted, the B&M operation has negative value.

Do note, that they face a "shortfall" of Nook STR sales.
It sold well; they epected and stocked up for more.

Explains where all the refurbs are coming from.
Expect more bargain sales.

I wonder if anybody will step up, ala Rakuten...
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:29 PM   #10
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I still think the death of bookstores is over-exaggerated. With Waldenbooks, Borders and B.Dalton gone, who's left to sell books besides B&N?

That said, I would expect rather than the enormous size of B&N stores, we would see a reduction in size to more stores of the size that Waldenbooks and the like were before. I can't imagine why we would have stores the size of a Sears selling books...not enough to prosper, anyway.

But hey, B&N survived and they didn't, so what do I know? I would have thought the opposite - that the mega-size bookstore would die first and the smaller/more efficient ones would survive.
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:32 PM   #11
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I still think the death of bookstores is over-exaggerated. With Waldenbooks, Borders and B.Dalton gone, who's left to sell books besides B&N?
Amazon.com, B&N.com, Kobo.com, Sony.com, ...
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:36 PM   #12
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I still think the death of bookstores is over-exaggerated. With Waldenbooks, Borders and B.Dalton gone, who's left to sell books besides B&N?

That said, I would expect rather than the enormous size of B&N stores, we would see a reduction in size to more stores of the size that Waldenbooks and the like were before. I can't imagine why we would have stores the size of a Sears selling books...not enough to prosper, anyway.

But hey, B&N survived and they didn't, so what do I know? I would have thought the opposite - that the mega-size bookstore would die first and the smaller/more efficient ones would survive.
It makes sense to think B&N would thrive in a world in which they are the only physical book store left. However, the price of their books, movies, and cds in the store are so just so much higher than amazon.com's because their cost structure is so inefficient by comparison. I only go to a B&N for a purchase if I absolutely have to have the book within 24 hrs. I have free 2 day shipping from Amazon.com.

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Old 01-05-2012, 12:49 PM   #13
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Amazon.com, B&N.com, Kobo.com, Sony.com, ...
Walmart, Target, K-Mart, Walgreens, CVS...

The BPHs have built their current business on the twin pillars of high-profile "NYT Bestsellers" and volume discounts.

The "bestsellers" don't need bookstores to move. Department stores and drug stores can move them just as effectively.
The rest of the catalog, low-volume and "slow-moving" compared to the cash cows, are best suited for online sales.

What remains is indeed a specialty, "kiosk"-style business.
B. Dalton would be king today if "somebody" hadn't bought them out to kill them.

As is, Gamestop could easily fill the void if B&N were to fully implode.
(Not that they will. Not yet.)
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:11 PM   #14
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It could be B&N is trying to figure out how to simply raise cash to save the core business.

Many of us were surprised that Kobo was sold for $300 million to Japanese e-commerce player Rakuten in November. ALL of B&N is valued at around $1 billion, and that includes 1300+ bricks and mortar consumer and college stores, as well as the Nook business.

If Kobo was worth $300 million cash, what is Nook worth, to the right buyer? And could that cash (and some longer-term royalty arrangement on content sales) be the ticket to B&N turning around its retail business finding a profitable long term landing?

There is no way to spin this favourably, however: Liberty Media walked away from a $1 billion purchase last summer and settled for a $200 million preferred share investment with an implied price of $17/share. Currently, B&N is trading close to $10 (where it has been up and down over the past 18 months).

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Old 01-05-2012, 01:20 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Via MSNBC:
http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_new...-nook-business

No surprise here; the clues were all over for the past six month.
Nook is a billion dollar a year business.
The concern, of course, is that if Nook alone is worth more than the entire B&N as currently consituted, the B&M operation has negative value.

Do note, that they face a "shortfall" of Nook STR sales.
It sold well; they epected and stocked up for more.

Explains where all the refurbs are coming from.
Expect more bargain sales.

I wonder if anybody will step up, ala Rakuten...
It's also worth underlining how much the 2011 absence of Amazon in the "touch reader" space allowed other players an opportunity build their businesses (Nook Touch, Kobo Touch and, sadly, missed opportunity for the then over-priced Sony PRS series). At least, until November ...

The moment Amazon rounded out their line-up with a Kindle Touch -- B&N felt the impact directly. The Kindle with Special Offers pricing probably did the most damage. Kindle was relentless with very simple mass advertising: the Kindle is wonderful and its $79. The moment someone wonders into Best Buy looking for a Nook and it's drastically more than $79 -- never mind it is more capable -- the sales conversation gets muddied, diverted or lost altogether.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 01-05-2012 at 01:58 PM. Reason: Add quote before merging with earlier thread to keep conversations straight.
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