Barnes & Noble Inc., the largest U.S. bookstore chain, tumbled the most in 10 years after projecting a loss for fiscal 2012 that was wider than analysts projected.
Barnes & Noble declined 29 percent to $9.65 at 9:35 a.m. in New York, the biggest intraday decline since Nov. 8, 2001. The shares rose 2.3 percent last year.
The full-year loss may be as much as $1.40 a share, the New York-based company said today in a statement, after previously projecting a loss of a maximum of 50 cents a share. Analysts predicted a loss as wide as 59 cents a share, the average of six estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Barnes & Noble also said it may spin off its Nook e-reader business. Sales of its Nook Simple Touch trailed its estimates during the holiday shopping season. The company has sacrificed profits to invest in transitioning into a digital-content provider through its Nook and tablet computers as more consumers read electronic books.
Discussions are being held with publishers, retailers and technology companies in international markets that may lead to expansion of the Nook business overseas, the company said in the statement.
Total sales of Nook devices surged 70 percent during the holiday-shopping period, according to the statement. Sales on a comparable basis in the Nook business, including digital content and hardware devices and accessories, rose 43 percent to $448 during the holiday sales period.
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