No offense but whether it is positive or negative it will all depend on the "spin". For example, if it's negative and someone wants the price per share not to be too badly affected, they will say, "Well it's negative but not as negative as analysts anticipated". Also, if it's positive and they want the share price to go down, they'll claim well it's positive but not as positive as the analysts had hoped...gotit???? Shheesh..what a game! JMO.
I'm fairly certain that nook sales have been underestimated by most analysts, I look to the number of people who have "liked" nook on facebook as a guide compared to those who have "liked" Kindle. I figure those statistics are hard to fake.
Here's what I've seen- Currently nook has just under 46,000 fans and Kindle has just under 92,000 (50%, check it out). When I first started watching (in June- starting about a week after the nook wifi was released)the nook had ~27,000 fans while Kindle had ~69,000. Since these are tea leaves rather than direct sales numbers, I like to look at the daily rate of change rather than the ratio. I watch every day and the nook was definitively winning (by a factor of 1.5-2) every day before K3 dropped (except for a couple of days when Kindle had refurbs available for ~$110). After K3, the nook "sales" improved but were matched by slightly higher Kindle "sales" for a week (and Kindle added ~8,000 fans in about two hours one day- there was no Kindle related news that day so I think facebook must have just combined Kindle interest group with the Kindle product group), lately nook is back to winning most days. In my mind, this gives credence to the "nook is outselling kindle" reports issued by Digitimes. Additionally, I saw a leak from someone at CNET saying that about three times as many people have looked at the nook review page than the Kindle, and the Huffington Post has a rate the e-readers poll up- nook wifi and nook are #1 and #2 with an average rating of 9, IPAD is #3 with an average rating in the 5s, and Kindle (the new versions) are #4 and #5. That last one has nothing to do with sales, it just shows you how much people HATE Kindle's closed format (And people aware of nook's DRM non-compatibility issues, BTW, they just don't blame them as much as they do Amazon).
Still, I doubt that nook sales have become 10% of Barnes and Noble's total sales yet, so they aren't required to break out this growth. I'm beginning to think Riggio may be keeping us in the dark on purpose so he can get a better price for himself. The college acquisition screwed up same-store comparisons, so an overall revenue gain may be dismissed as normal seasonal textbook sales. If that's the case then the overall numbers may look bad since the nook's are selling at an initial loss. Without a breakout this will be misinterpreted as the company simply losing brick-and-mortar sales.
In short, this company is a strong buy if your last name is Riggio or Burkle.
I like that you take, what I call, the scuttlebutt approach too. (Checking out commentary on facebook, youtube, etc and doing some analysis)
I totally agree with you. I don't think that Kindle is blowing away Nook sales like some would like you to believe (FWIW I have 2 Nooks at the house). I think a lot of people base their opinions on the stocks price action.
I've mentioned it before... even if B&N only expects a slight profit, If they expect a quarterly loss of 1$ this quarter, and maybe a loss in q4, that means they will likely forcast pretty good profits for the next 2 quarters (2&3)
The college bookstore addition will skew the results this quarter, so I'll agree, people will be looking at guidance, revenues, and any indications of how digital sales are going. People seem to think e-books are the future of the business, so I think that will be a HUGE factor for the next year or two.