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Barnes & Noble loss widens; Riggio pulls offer to buy retail business


NEW YORK —Barnes & Noble reported a worse-than-expected net loss of $87 million for the first quarter, compared to a loss of $39.8 million in the year-ago period. The bookseller’s troubles mounted with the news that its founder, chairman and largest shareholder, Leonard Riggio, was calling off his offer to buy the company’s retail business.

"While I reserve the right to pursue an offer in the future, I believe it is in the company's best interests to focus on the business at hand," Riggio said in an SEC filing. "Right now our priority should be to serve the more than 10 million customers who own NOOK devices, to concentrate on building our retail business, and to accelerate the sale of NOOK products in our stores, and in the marketplace."

Revenue for the quarter ended Aug. 2 fell nearly 9% to $1.33 billion from $1.45 billion last year. Analysts expected $1.32 billion.

By division, revenue decreased 10% to $1 billion at retail stores and rose 5% to $226 million at college bookstores. Nook revenue plunged 39% percent to $143 million.

Same-store sales were down 9.1%. Excluding the Nook, the metric was down 7.2%.

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