Barnes & Noble Plunges as Bookseller's Sales Slide Deepens

(Bloomberg) -- Barnes & Noble Inc. began its new fiscal year with disappointing results as the turnaround promised by its recently ousted chief proves elusive.

Same-store sales at the book and gift seller slipped 6.1 percent in the latest quarter, according to a statement. First-quarter sales missed even the lowest analyst estimate.

Barnes & Noble Plunges as Bookseller's Sales Slide Deepens

Former Chief Executive Officer Demos Parneros had been promising investors a comeback at the chain, fueled by a renewed focus on toys and games and a revamped gift business as it struggles to find a place in a world now dominated by Amazon.com Inc. But then Barnes & Noble fired him in July, saying he violated company policies unrelated to financial conduct. Parneros sued for breach of conduct and defamation last month, accusing the retailer of inventing reasons to fire him after a deal to sell the company collapsed.

Parneros, a former Staples Inc. executive, was the second CEO ousted in less than two years. The company fired Ron Boire, a former head of Sears Canada, in August 2016, saying he was “not a good fit.”

Barnes & Noble shares fell as much as 6.1 percent to $4.65 on Thursday. The stock had already fallen 26 percent so far this year through Wednesday’s close.

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