Barnes & Noble's Nook e-book sales quadruple year-over-year

Bookseller Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) reported fiscal 2012 first-quarter sales totaling $1.4 billion, a 2 percent year-over-year increase. Sales through its BN.com website increased 37 percent to $198 million, galvanized by consumer interest in its Nook e-reader device and corresponding e-book releases--according to Barnes & Noble, its digital content sales quadrupled over last year's fiscal first quarter, with its consolidated Nook business (including content, hardware and accessories) increasing 140 percent to $277 million.

Nook

Online sales rose 37 percent to $198 million, due to consumer interest in its Nook e-reader device (pictured).

Barnes & Noble's digital growth is offset by continued declines in traditional print and brick-and-mortar sales. Its store sales decreased 3 percent year-over-year to $1 billion. Barnes & Noble's earnings improved 23 percent this last quarter from a loss of $30.7 million to $23.6 million. Consolidated net losses totaled $57 million.

Barnes & Noble's e-reader product line includes the Nook 1st Edition (which starts at $119), the touchscreen-enabled Nook ($139) and the Nook Color ($249 and featuring Android applications, email, web access and social features). Its Nook Book Store touts more than 2 million digital titles--consumers may also access Nook content across smartphones, tablets and desktops. Last month, Barnes & Noble removed e-book purchase options from its Nook for iPhone application, indicating Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is beginning to actively enforce App Store subscription guidelines prohibiting content providers from integrating in-app purchase mechanisms linking consumers directly to their own websites.

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