Barnes & Noble Inc
The largest U.S. book store operator said its net loss widened to $2.7 million, or 5 cents per share, in the first quarter ended on May 2 from $2.2 million, or 4 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding the impact of discontinued operations, the loss was 4 cents per share, much smaller than the 15 cents analysts on average were expecting, according to Reuters Estimates.
Sales fell 4 percent to $1.11 billion.
Shoppers have been paring back on nonessential items, including books, in the recession, while online competition has also pressured sales at traditional bookstores.
Sales at Barnes & Noble's stores fell 3.5 percent to $989 million, with sales at stores open at least a year falling 5.7 percent. That was better than the company's forecast for a same-store sales decline of 6 percent to 9 percent.
Online sales fell 7 percent to $93 million.
Best-selling book titles during the quarter included Sandra Dallas' Prayers for Sale, Spencer Quinn's Dog on It, Steve Harvey's Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man and Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers.
Based on the first-quarter results, the company said it expected full-year profit of $1.10 to $1.40 per share, up from its prior forecast of 95 cents to $1.25.
Barnes & Noble said it expected second-quarter earnings of 5 cents to 15 cents per share on a same-store sales decline of 5 percent to 7 percent. Analysts were expecting a profit of 3 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.
As of May 2, the company operated 726 Barnes & Noble and 51 B. Dalton stores.
Barnes & Noble shares rose $1.11, or 4.7 percent, to $25 in early trading.
(Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)