Barnes & Noble's bookstore segment had an operating profit of $16.7 million in the first quarter ended May 5, 2001, down from $22.1 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2001, the company said in its quarterly filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Earlier this year B&N reported that bookstore sales rose 4.3% in the quarter, to $807.9 million (News, May 28). The profit decline included a $4.5-million charge related to the American Booksellers Association lawsuit, which reflects $2.35 million paid to the ABA and $2.1 million in B&N's own legal costs in the period. The company also recorded a $1-million loss on its 29% stake in iUniverse and a $200,000 loss on its 50% stake in Book magazine. The losses were partially offset by a $335,000 gain on the sale of a portion of B&N's holdings in Chapters. B&N's stake in Chapters is now at 2%. B&N's Calendar Club division had a $2-million loss in the period.
The filing also noted that B&N paid $3.6 million for its March acquisition of SparkNotes, a Web site that features more than 600 online study guides for high school and college students. B&N plans to develop print editions of SparkNotes Web guides.
At Books-A-Million, the company spent $6.5 million to buy the lease rights and inventory of the 18 Crown Books stores it acquired earlier this year. BAM described the outlets as 11 superstores and seven traditional stores, and the results from those stores were included in the company's first-quarter report (News, May 28). The company closed two stores during the quarter as well.