NEW YORK (AP) — Barnes & Noble's shares fell on Thursday after it reported a second-quarter profit but its digital content growth slowed as it faces increased competition from rivals like Amazon and Google.
The largest traditional retailer has invested heavily in its Nook e-business as consumers increasingly shop online and read e-books. Barnes & Noble said revenue from its Nook business grew, but devices sales fell due to lower average selling prices for the Nook. Digital content revenue grew 38 percent, but that was down from a 46 percent increase in the fiscal first quarter.
Investors were hoping for higher growth, and shares fell $1.50, or 9.3 percent, to $14.55 in midday trading. The stock had been up about 11 percent for the year,
Revenue from the New York company's Nook division rose 6 percent to $160 million. Barnes & Noble introduced two new Nook e-readers, a 7-inch Nook HD and 9-inch Nook HD+, during the quarter, and began shipping them just after the quarter closed.
In a call with analysts, CEO William Lynch said the company expects digital content buying to pick up after the holiday season, when Nooks are expected to be popular gifts.
The company said Nook unit sales doubled over the busy four-day shopping weekend after Thanksgiving, the so-called Black Friday weekend, as the company increased markdowns at retailers like Target and Wal-Mart Stores.
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