Barnesandnoble.com hits third-quarter targets

Barnesandnoble.com met analysts' estimates in its third quarter Monday, losing $36.9 million, or 25 cents a share, on sales of $74.1 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected it to lose 25 cents a share in the quarter.

Barnesandnoble.com (Nasdaq: BNBN) shares closed up 6 cents to $4.25 ahead of the earnings report.

The $74.1 million in sales marks a 58 percent jump from the year-ago quarter when it lost $21.9 million, or 15 cents a share, on sales of $47 million.

"We are pleased with our third quarter results, and we are confident that our significant sales growth and continued market share gains in the online book market are further evidence that Barnes & Noble.com is the destination of choice for more and more book buyers on the Web," said CEO Steve Riggio in a prepared release.

Gross profit margins moved up to 20.1 percent in the quarter, up from 15.5 percent in the second quarter.

It added another 760,000 customers in the quarter, bringing its total to more than 6.3 million.

Company officials said it ended the quarter with $286 million in cash and marketable securities and no debt.

Last quarter, Barnesandnoble.com missed analysts' estimates, losing $39.9 million, or 27 cents a share, on sales of $67.4 million.

The stock peaked at $21.25 in November before falling to a low of $3.44 earlier this month.

Five of the six analysts following the stock rate it a "hold."