Is Barnes & Noble’s Stock Undervalued?

Nook HD+In an interview with Bloomberg Television on Tuesday, Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) Chief Executive William Lynch said that he believed the company was undervalued.

As interviewer Nicole Lapin noted in the segment, the “common narrative for Barnes & Noble is that the brick and mortar business is dead and the nook probably can’t compete with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).”

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Lynch however disagreed, citing the company’s most recent quarterly results in support of his position. For the fiscal first quarter, which ended on July 31, Barnes & Noble experienced growth of 4.5 percent, the company’s highest growth in five quarters.

Defending the company’s retail business, Lynch highlighted the bookseller’s increasing market share. “We are actually the only place in the U.S. to get a broad selection and assortment of books,” Lynch said in the interview. Currently, Barnes & Noble dominates the market for physical books; after Borders went out of business last year the company increased its market share by 64 percent.

In his estimation, the company’s Nook Media Division is also well-positioned. Regarding the newly launched 7-inch Nook HD and 9-inch Nook HD plus, Lynch said the devices were the “best products invented for reading.” He further noted that the two new tablets have had great reviews, and they have. According to the Huffington Post, the devices offer “better screens, lighter weights, and a better reading and shopping experience” than Amazon’s Kindle.

When asked by Lapin about the future of the company’s retail business, Lynch detailed how the company was diversifying its bookselling business by expanding into games and gifts.

At an investor presentation in October, Lynch made a similar argument, predicting that physical books will not go “away anytime soon.” He did however acknowledge in the interview that the holiday season will be a big test for the company.

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