Barnes and Noble booksellers

Barnes & Noble released its third quarter earnings this morning, and while it missed the estimates, it wasn't all doom & gloom.

The largest book selling chain in the United States reported that sales were up 5% in the quarter year over year, rising from $2.3 billion to $2.4 billion. This fell short of analyst projections, but thanks to good news across the entire company, it's stock was still up this morning in early trading.

Sales at stores open at least 15 months rose 2.8%, bolstered by sales of physical books rising by 4.2%.  It is believed this can be attributed to the shut down of the Borders chain last year., the online arm of the company say sales rise 32% over the previous year, jumping from $319 million to $420 million.  The Nook division, which saw the release of a cheaper version of the Nook Tablet this morning, saw 38% growth in the third quarter to $542 million with a lot of that being driven by the sales of digital content which grew by 85%.  Barnes & Noble says that the Nook family of devices now has a 27% share of the e-reader market.

The only segment of the company to see a decline in the quarter was Barnes & Noble College which fell 3% from $540 million to $525 million on the back of a shift from the sales of text books to rentals.

Earnings per share for the quarter came in at $.71 after factoring in the dilution of shares of preferred stock.