"They're maintaining their market share by way of promoting and discounting," said Morningstar analyst Peter Wahlstrom. "But it's a more competitive marketplace."
Net income totaled $2.2 million for the three months ended Oct. 27. That translates to a loss of 4 cents per share, however, after the impact of preferred stock dividends. That matched analysts' expectations, according to FactSet.
The results compare with a prior-year loss of $6.6 million, or 17 cents per share.
Revenue was nearly flat at $1.88 billion. Analysts expected revenue of $1.91 billion.
Revenue from stores fell 3 percent to $996 million. Its college bookstores' revenue rose less than 1 percent to $773 million. Revenue in stores open at least one year, excluding sales of Nook products, rose 1.8 percent.
The metric is considered a key gauge of a retailer's fiscal health because it excludes stores that open or close during the year.