E-Book Sales Continue to Climb in Latest Publishing Industry Report

Sales of e-books continue to rise despite pervasive complaints and government inquiry about their pricing. According to USA Today, 32 of the top 50 titles on its bestseller list for Jan.2-Jan.8 had higher e-book sales than print sales. This is welcome news for Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), and the high margins that go with e-book sales could make their success a good thing for publishers like Mcgraw-Hill (NYSE:MHP). For Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS), however, it’s both good and bad.

While the Wall Street Journal (NASDAQ:NWS) and New York Times (NYSE:NYT) break out e-book sales, along with children’s books, nonfiction, etc., into separate bestseller lists, USA Today publishes one comprehensive list that includes all categories and lumps hardcover, paperback and e-books together. A title’s rank is determined by calculating sales in all three formats combined. Each title’s entry notes which format sold the greatest number of copies that week. The Wall St. Journal and New York Times do not provide those details.

Here’s how shares of these tablet readers are trading today in reaction to the positive e-book news:

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN): AMZN shares recently traded at $177.02, up $1.09, or 0.62%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $160.59 to $246.71. Volume today was 2,820,147 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 6,459,340 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 93.32, while trailing earnings are $1.90 per share.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS): BKS shares recently traded at $11.11, down $0.44, or 3.81%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $9.35 to $18.73. Volume today was 786,184 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 1,687,590 shares. The company’s trailing earnings are $-1.14 per share.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): AAPL shares recently traded at $419.44, down $1.95, or 0.46%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $310.50 to $427.75. Volume today was 5,220,899 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 14,136,300 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 15.15, while trailing earnings are $27.68 per share.

Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM): RIMM shares recently traded at $16.12, down $0.32, or 1.95%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $12.45 to $70.54. Volume today was 13,369,336 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 21,605,700 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 3.80, while trailing earnings are $4.25 per share.

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL): DELL shares recently traded at $15.77, down $0.17, or 1.07%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $12.99 to $17.60. Volume today was 6,846,255 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 20,102,100 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 8.12, while trailing earnings are $1.94 per share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gina Smith at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com