Barnes & Posts Narrower Loss

Barnes& reported a narrower first-quarter net loss, with results coming in roughly in line with analysts’ expectations.

The online bookseller posted a net loss of $39.8 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $57.6 million, or 37 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

Excluding stock-based compensation costs, equity in net loss of equity investments and acquisition-related expenses, the company would have posted a loss of $33.7 million or 21 cents a share, compared with a loss of $35.9 million, or 23 cents a share, a year earlier.

The mean estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call was for a loss of 22 cents a share in the latest quarter.

Year-earlier results include the pro forma consolidated results of LLC and as if the acquisition of had taken place Jan. 1, 2000. Barnes& acquired online bookseller in November.

Sales rose 23% to $109 million and were in line with the company’s expectations.

Barnes& said that, as of March 31, it had $174.5 million of cash and marketable securities.

Looking ahead, the company expects a second-quarter pro forma loss of 20 cents to 23 cents a share, compared with analysts’ loss estimate of 21 cents a share. Sales for the second quarter are expected to be $90 million to $100 million, with a gross margin of 22% to 24%.

Barnes& (BNBN) is 40% owned by Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS) and 40% owned by German media company Bertelsmann AG.

In February, the online retailer said it would cut its work force by 16%, or about 350 full-time positions. It also will take a charge of about $5 million for the first half of 2001 to cover severance and other costs related to closing of two facilities.

Copyright (c) 2001 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.