U.S. bookstore chain Barnes & Noble Inc (BKS.N) reported a smaller-than-expected fall in quarterly same-store sales as promotions and new products drove up traffic at its stores.
Shares of Barnes & Noble, which also reported a smaller-than-expected loss, rose as much as 4.3 percent to a two-year high of $24.40 in early trading.
Barnes & Noble’s retail core comparable store sales, excluding its Nook digital unit and college bookstores, fell 0.4 percent in the first quarter ended Aug. 2.
Analysts polled by research firm Consensus Metrix were expecting same-store sales to decline 2 percent.
Retail comparable sales were helped by improving book industry trends, merchandising initiatives and store promotions, Barnes & Noble Chief Executive Michael Huseby said.
The company has also been cutting costs to focus more on its core book store business.
Barnes & Noble said in June it would spin off its money-losing Nook Media unit, which includes tablets and college books, by 2015 after it lost hundreds of millions of dollars over the past five years.
Selling and administrative expenses fell 6.3 percent to $353 million.
The company’s net loss narrowed to $28.4 million, or 56 cents per share, in the quarter, from $87 million, or $1.56 per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected a loss of 63 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Total comparable retail store sales fell 5.1 percent.
Total sales fell 7 percent to $1.23 billion. They have fallen in nearly all quarters since the fiscal second quarter of 2012.