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Barnes & Noble losses widen in Q4, impacted by Borders bankruptcy

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York City — Barnes & Noble reported Tuesday that its loss for the quarter ended April 30 widened to $59.4 million, from a loss of $32 million in the year-ago period. The book seller said its results were hurt by liquidation sales by bankrupt Borders, as well as impacted by ongoing investment in the Nook.

Revenue rose 4% to $1.37 billion from $1.32 billion in the prior year, missing Wall Street’s estimate of $1.39 billion in revenue.

Same-store sales dropped 2.9%.

Other Barnes & Noble sectors fared better, as online revenue surged 54% to $217.3 million and college bookstore revenue rose 4% to $211.2 million.

For the full year, the retailer reported a loss of $73.9 million, compared with a profit of $36.7 million last year. Revenue rose 21% to $7 billion.

Barnes & Noble said it is still reviewing the unexpected $1 billion takeover in May from John Malone’s Liberty Media.

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Walgreen to split with Express Scripts, reports 30% rise in Q3 profit

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Deerfield, Ill. — Walgreen Co. said Tuesday it will terminate a $5.3 billion-per-year relationship with Express Scripts.

Walgreen reported that contract negotiations with Express Scripts have failed, and it will stop participating in the St. Louis company’s prescription plans starting Jan. 1. Express Scripts processes about 90 million prescriptions that will be filled at Walgreen stores in fiscal 2011, which will bring Walgreen about $5.3 billion in revenue.

Express Scripts pays Walgreen to fill each prescription. Walgreen said Express Scripts wanted to cut those payments so they were less than the cost of providing the prescriptions, and said those rates were "unacceptable." Walgreen also said Express Scripts wanted to define contract terms including definitions of name-brand and generic drugs, and transfer of prescription drug plans to different networks.

The announcement has overshadowed news that Walgreen’s profit climbed 30% in its third fiscal quarter to $603 million, from $463 million in the year-ago period.

Revenue climbed to $18.37 billion from $17.2 billion. Analysts expected $18.38 billion.

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Best Buy to buy back $5 billion of its shares

BY Staff Writer

Minneapolis — Best Buy Co. said Tuesday that it will buy back $5 billion of its common stock and raise its quarterly dividend by 7%.

The retailer said that the buyback replaces a $5.5 billion repurchase program that had about $800 million left as of May 28. The announcement came just ahead of its shareholders meeting in Richfield, Minn.

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