Barnes & Noble Doing Better Than Thought, CEO Says

Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch went on Bloomberg TV to tell everyone that, actually, Barnes & Noble is doing well.

Sales in the first quarter at the company’s retail stores were up, profits were up. Each of the new Nook tablets can compete with their competitors (read: Amazon and Apple). And the company, through its expansion into toys and games retail and its Nook business, is planning for the future.

As for the present, “we’re actually the only place in the U.S. to get a broad assortment of books,” Lynch said.

He believes that at a sub-$1 billion market cap the company is undervalued. We’ll soon know more: B&N announces its second-quarter earnings on Nov. 29.

The whole theme of the interview was that Barnes & Noble is misunderstood by Wall Street. But what about Grub Street? For publishers it’s not really about how the company is valued but that it continues to be a going concern. With physical books continuing to be the majority of those sold and bricks-and-mortar stores the largest single channel for book sales, the company should be viable for the foreseeable future. The problem for Barnes & Noble might be that the future is getting less foreseeable all the time.


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