Barnes & Noble shares rise on news of job cuts among Nook staff

Reuters
People walk by a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Pasadena
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People walk by a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Pasadena, California November 26, 2013. REUTERS/Mario A …

(Reuters) - Barnes & Noble Inc shares rose by as much as 9.6 percent on Monday after news that the bookseller cut jobs from its team of hardware engineers working on its money-losing Nook digital books and e-reader business.

The retailer said a Business Insider report that it had eliminated its entire Nook hardware engineering team was incorrect but conceded there were some job cuts. It did not provide details.

"We've been very clear about our focus on rationalizing the NOOK business and positioning it for future success and value creation. As we've aligned NOOK's cost structure with business realities, staffing levels in certain areas of our organization have changed, leading to some job eliminations," Barnes & Noble spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating said in an e-mail.

Revenue for its Nook business fell 60.5 percent during the holiday season even as its core bookselling business stabilized.

"We see BKS (Barnes & Noble) taking steps in the right direction -- right sizing the expense structure of NOOK in an attempt to regain profitability," Stifel Nicolaus analyst David Schick wrote in a research note.

Barnes & Noble scaled back its Nook business in 2013 after losing hundreds of millions of dollars on a venture designed to fend off Amazon.com Inc in the e-business business.

Chief Executive Michael Huseby told Reuters last month that Barnes & Noble planned to launch new devices in 2014.

Shares were up 7.1 percent to $15.81 in afternoon trading on Monday.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Amanda Kwan)

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