What happened

Shares of Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) were sliding today after the bookstore chain issued a disappointing first-quarter earnings report and posted results that were below analyst estimates. As of 11:16 a.m. EDT, the stock was down 10.2%.

The retailer said overall revenue slipped 6.6% to $853.3 million, missing expectations of $873 million, and its loss per share narrowed from minus $0.20 to minus $0.15, but that was short of the consensus of minus $0.12. 

Several books in the corner of a bookshelf

Image source: Barnes & Noble.

So what

Comparable sales were down 4.9% as drops in nonbook categories like games and toys weighed on improved book trends. Lower online and NOOK sales also pressured sales. 

CEO Demos Parneros said, "Our first quarter earnings results improved over the prior year, as we were able to mitigate the sales decline through expense reductions," and he added that performance should improve in the back half of the year.

Now what 

Barnes & Noble continues to struggle with the sea change in the book industry as Amazon.com now controls the majority of the market and has even begun challenging B&N in the brick-and-mortar world with its own stores. The company itself also looks weaker after being split from its college bookstore division, Barnes & Noble Education, and both stocks have tumbled since that decision.

The company expects trends to improve over the rest of the year, calling for a full-year comparable sales dip in the low-single digits and EBITDA of $180 million. However, with comps and revenue continuing to fall, the stock's 8% dividend yield should eventually get slashed, which would send the stock even lower.

Jeremy Bowman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.