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Barnes & Noble 4Q Profit Drops

BY CSA STAFF

New York Barnes & Noble reported a 9% decline in fourth-quarter profits Thursday amid a challenging retail environment.

Barnes & Noble said that it earned $115.04 million in the three-month period ended Feb. 2, compared with $126.73 million in the year-ago period.

The company says that sales slipped to $1.85 billion in the period, from $1.88 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales fell 0.5% in the fourth quarter.

For the year, Barnes & Noble earnings slipped to $135.8 million compared to $150.53 million in the year-ago period. Sales reached $5.4 billion, from $5.26 billion in the previous year.

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Amazon.com completes Audible buy

BY CSA STAFF

SEATTLE Amazon.com today announced that Audible has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company. All remaining outstanding shares of Audible, other than those held by stockholders who properly perfect appraisal rights under Delaware law, were converted into the right to receive $11.50 per share in cash.

Audible is the leading provider of spoken audio information and entertainment on the Internet. Through its websites in the US and UK and alliances in Germany and France, Audible offers over 80,000 programs, including audiobooks and other spoken word content from more than 520 content partners that include leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers. Content from Audible is downloaded and played back on personal computers, CDs, or AudibleReady computer-based and wireless mobile devices.

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Retailers come to aid of HD-DVD owners

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS The sudden end to the high-definition DVD format war has retailers scrambling to find ways to compensate customers who bought into the losing HD-DVD format.

Best Buy reported today that it is giving $50 gift cards to customers who bought an HD-DVD player or HD-DVD attachment from its U.S. stores before Feb. 23. In addition, starting on March 21, the company is offering customers who don’t want to get rid of their HD-DVD players the chance to trade them in for a value determined by the Best Buy’s Online Trade-In Center.

The DVD format war has divided our customers in a way we havent seen since Betamax took on VHS more than 20 years ago, said Brian Dunn, president and coo for Best Buy. At Best Buy, we understood and shared our customers frustrations as they were being asked to choose one format or the other. Now that the format war is over, we hope these gift cards will reassure our customers that we will help them make a smooth transition into the right technology for their needs. 

Circuit City is giving customers who jumped on the HD-DVD bandwagon this year a longer period of time to return their players. The chain last week extended its 30-day return policy on purchases to 90 days for HD-DVD players. The policy applies only to players though and not to HD-DVD discs.

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