Shares of seemingly struggling bookseller Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) have been on fire so far in 2014, surging well over 50% year to date and leaving broad market indices such as the S&P 500 in its dust.
Fueling that run all the more, Barnes & Noble stock surged once again recently in the wake of Barnes & Nobles report for its fiscal year 2014 annual performance. More to the point, Barnes & Noble announced during the earnings report that it would be divesting its long-struggling Nook e-reader and tablet division, leaving investors struggling to grasp what this move means for Barnes & Noble's digital future as well as the competitive landscape for other hallmark tablets like Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad.
A win or loss for Barnes & Noble?
Some Barnes & Noble shareholders have argued for some time now that this move will unlock significant shareholder value since it will both enable the Nook management team to focus on competing against the likes of Apple's iPad, while also helping the market recognize the true value of Barnes & Noble's surprisingly robust brick and mortar retail business.
From an investors' perspective, this is absolutely the right move. The Nook lost its toe-hold in the tablet market some time ago as powerhouse tablets like Apple's iPad and others control the bulk of shipments in developed markets like the United States. The company may not be saying it, but this move opens up the door for Barnes & Noble to let the Nook potentially die a quieter death at the hands of Apple's iPad. In the video below, tech and telecom specialist Andrew Tonner looks at Barnes & Nobles recent move in greater detail.