Stocks No Place For Books

Andrew AlbaneseThe stock market is no place to be if you’re in the bookselling business. This week, one listed company vanished from the trading roster, and another saw its share price fall as fast as a dropped copy of War & Peace.

The nation’s largest bookselling chain Barnes & Noble has reported that its most recent sales numbers are headed in the wrong direction – at least, for book sales.

“Total sales fell 4.5% for the second quarter ended Oct. 31, 2015, compared to the same period last year. Alarmingly, revenue also fell across the board, in the retail segment, which includes the physical stores and online retailer BN.com,” reports Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer.

“Notably, the company reported both lower online sales, and less physical sales partly due to store closures – not a good mix,” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “And here is another intriguing nugget: lower sales of adult trade and juvenile books were somewhat offset by higher sales of adult coloring books and related supplies. Likewise, sales in the games and toys segment rose 14.9 percent.”

Meanwhile, Books-A-Million’s majority owners have bought out all remaining stockholders to take the company private.

“BAM shareholders voted overwhelmingly to accept a $3.25 per share offer from the Anderson family to buy all the shares in the retailer that they didn’t already own,” Albanese says. “The deal is valued at about $21 million. So read into that what you will, but there’s one less stock for us to follow on the bookselling side.”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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