Barnesandnoble.com misses second quarter estimates

But the company exited the quarter with $356m cash, enough to keep it afloat for at least two more years, say officials

Barnesandnoble.com posted a wider-than-expected loss in its second quarter Monday, losing $39.9m, or 27 cents a share, on sales of $67.4m.

First Call consensus expected the online bookseller to lose 18 cents a share in the quarter. Ahead of the earnings report, Barnesandnoble.com shares closed off 1/8 to 5 1/8.

The $67.4m in sales marks a 77 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $22m, or 17 cents a share, on sales of $38.2m. However, its sales actually declined compared to the first quarter when it lost $27.1m, or 19 cents a share, on sales of $78.2m.

In the quarter, Barnesandnoble.com added another 700,000 customers, bringing its total customer base to more than 5.5 million shoppers. Repeat orders accounted for 70 percent of all sales in the quarter.

"We firmly believe in the future of this business, and our second quarter sales growth indicates that we continue to gain market share, fuelled by an increase in the number of new customers and the growing loyalty of existing customers," said chief executive Steve Riggio in a prepared release.

Company officials said it exited the quarter with $356m in cash and short-term investments, enough to keep the company afloat for at least two more years.

Its shares moved as high as 23 1/2 in October before crashing to a 52-week low of 5 earlier this month.

All six of the analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy".

First Call consensus expects it to lose 70 cents a share in the fiscal year.

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