On its Q3 earnings conference call, Barnes & Noble (BKS) confirmed that discussions between Len Riggio and the strategic committee of its Board in regard to his plan to make a proposal to purchase the retail business are ongoing, but said it could not comment further. The company also said that its Nook Media subsidiary has been financing itself since investments from new partners Microsoft (MSFT) and Pearson (PSO) in October, along with positive cash flow from its College business. B&N said Nook Media has approximately $240M in cash with no debt and it expects the unit to self-finance going forward. The company said that recent news reports that it may be accelerating store closings are inaccurate. The company said historically it has closed 12-22 stores each year, averaging 15 stores a year over the last 10 years, and "that will not change." B&N noted that 95% of its stores are profitable and "we have no plans to close any of these." Shares of Barnes & Noble, which began the session in negative territory, crossed into positive ground as the call continued and are up 40c, or 2.63%, to $15.63 in early morning trading.
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