The relationship between Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has flowered with the launch of NOOK for Windows 8. The comprehensive reading app is the product of a joint venture between the two companies and is designed to bring a new reading experience to Microsoft’s latest operating system.
At least, that’s the sales pitch. While the app has been favorably reviewed so far, investors are still cautious about any bullish stance on Nook Media, the subsidiary of Barnes & Noble that Microsoft invested $300 million in. Shares of the nation’s last major brick-and-mortar bookseller have come up over 16 percent in the last three months with the advent of two new Nook devices, solid quarterly numbers, and cogent arguments made by CEO William Lynch.
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Lynch has made appearances on Bloomberg TV and CNBC and suggested that not only is his company undervalued, but it is slated for some serious growth. Microsoft’s investment in the Nook Media division gives the unit a post-money valuation of $1.7 billion, nearly twice the market cap for Barnes & Noble. Lynch believes that the new Nook tablets are the best devices ever created for reading and entertainment, comparing them directly and favorably to Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire line and the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad.
Content has become an increasingly important factor for consumers making decisions about what products to buy. Microsoft’s investment in Nook Media is meant to make up some lost ground on this front. A free, comprehensive reading app is definitely something to consider, but it probably won’t be a game changer for the Surface, which landed in the market softly.
The app brings 3 million titles with it, which includes books, magazines, newspapers, and comics.
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