Borders Beats Estimates, Raises Full-Year Outlook

Borders Group Inc. (BGP), the No. 2 U.S. bookseller, on Tuesday said quarterly earnings rose, beating estimates by the company and Wall Street, largely because of stronger-than-expected book sales.

It also raised its full-year forecast.

The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company said profit rose to $8.5 million, or 11 cents a share, from $4.5 million, or 6 cents a share, a year earlier. The per share earnings got a boost also because there were a fewer number of shares outstanding in the 2004 quarter compared with the 2003 quarter.

The results were better than Borders own forecast of 6 cents to 8 cents for the second quarter and analysts average estimate of 7 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates (search).

Sales rose 2.4 percent to $847.1 million.

"Second quarter performance was driven primarily by book sales that were stronger than anticipated despite the expected challenging comparison to a year ago when the fifth book in the Harry Potter series (search) was released," the company's release said.

Looking ahead, Borders said it expects to earn between 1 cent and 3 cents a share for the third quarter.

For the full year, the company said it now expects to earn $1.72 to $1.77 a share, higher than its previous range of $1.70 to $1.75 a share. The full year earnings per share view includes an after-tax charge of 4 cents to 6 cents a share.