What happened

Shares of Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE:BKS) gained 13.4% in the month of June, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the retail bookseller announced better-than-expected quarterly results.

So what

Barnes & Noble stock jumped more than 14% over the two days following its official June 22 earnings release. The company confirmed that fiscal fourth-quarter 2017 revenue declined 6.3% year over year to $821.2 million, and translated to a net loss of $13.4 million, or $0.19 per share, narrowed from a net loss of $30.6 million, or $0.42 per share in the same year-ago period. Both the top and bottom lines were ahead of analysts' consensus estimates, which called for a loss of $0.23 per share on revenue of $782.5 million. 

Exterior of Barnes & Noble store

Image source: Barnes & Noble.

Now what

Barnes & Noble CEO Demos Parneros admitted that fiscal 2017 was "a challenging year for the company," but also noted its efforts to reduce costs allowed the company to effectively sustain its profitability level.

"In fiscal 2018," Parneros added, "we are focusing on ways to improve the business and reignite sales through an aggressive test and learn process and companywide simplification process that will take out costs."

Of course, that also means Barnes & Noble has plenty of work to do before it achieves sustained profitability and returns to top-line growth. But considering its sales declined less than expected while its losses continued to narrow, it was no surprise to see investors bid up Barnes & Noble stock last month.

Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.