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Barnes & Noble Nook, ebook sales tumble as company posts loss

A Barnes & Noble bookstore is seen on April 30, 2012 in Washington, DC.
A Barnes & Noble bookstore is seen on April 30, 2012 in Washington, DC.KAREN BLEIER / AFP - Getty Images

Barnes & Noble Inc reported a quarterly net loss on Thursday, hurt by a sharp decline in sales in its Nook device and e-books business, as well as lower sales at its bookstores and college bookstore chain.

The largest U.S. bookstore chain reported a net loss of $6.1 million, or 18 cents per share, for the fiscal third quarter ended January 26, compared with a profit of $52 million, or 71 cents, a year earlier.

Revenue at its Nook business, including e-books and devices, fell 25.9 percent to $316 million as it sold fewer e-readers and tablets. At its namesake bookstores, sales at stores open at least 15 months, excluding Nook products, slipped 2.2 percent.

At its college stores, same-store sales fell 5.2 percent.

Companywide, revenue was down 10.3 percent to $2.23 billion, below the $2.4 billion Wall Street was projecting, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.