Barnes & Noble shares soar on Microsoft deal

The Nook maker's stock rose to $26 at open today, doubling its Friday closing price. Shares cooled off a bit as the morning moved along, but not by all that much.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble's shares are skyrocketing today following its announcement of a strategic partnership with Microsoft.

The company's stock soared in early trading to $26, nearly doubling last week's closing price of $13.68. Since then, investors have started to cool, though not by much: as of this writing, the company's shares are up 63 percent to $22.29.

Under the terms of their partnership, Microsoft and Barnes & Noble will own part of a new company, currently known as Newco until a final name can be determined. Microsoft gave Barnes & Noble $300 million for a 17.6 percent equity stake in Newco, leaving the remaining 82.4 percent ownership to the bookseller. Newco, according to the companies, will focus on Barnes & Noble's Nook digital and college businesses.

To sweeten the pot a bit for Microsoft, Barnes & Noble will include its Nook digital bookstore with Windows 8, the software giant's next-generation operating system that launches later this year. The companies have also agreed to end their bitter patent litigation by forming a "royalty-bearing license under Microsoft's patents for its Nook e-reader and Tablet products."

Despite excitement on the Barnes & Noble side, Microsoft's stock has hardly moved, rising only 2 cents to $32 per share.