In its first purchase of Barnes & stock since late in November, Barnes & Noble bought 25,000 shares of the e-tailer's stock on January 30 for $1.08 per share and another 32,000 shares January 31 for $1.07 per share. The company also acquired another 41,500 shares on the first two trading days in February.

The purchases came as B&'s stock began drifting downward to the $1-per-share level; its stock price closed at $1.02 on January 31. A company faces the possibility of being delisted when its share price falls below $1, a situation B& was in last year until purchases by B&N and Bertelsmann helped move the share price back over $1. B&N's strategy to renew its purchase of B&'s stock seems to be working; the e-tailers share price closed at $1.13 on February 5. B&N, which said it would buy $10 million of B& stock, now owns 1.74 million shares of B& shares.