December 9, 2013

The SEC is investigating Barnes & Noble



On Friday, Barnes and Noble’s stock dropped as news broke that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating the company regarding its restatement of earnings for the years ending April 28, 2012 and April 30, 2011. In that restatement, Barnes and Noble had said it had “overstated some accruals for the periods before April 27, 2013” according to USA Today.

Barnes and Noble company spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating told Reuters in an email:

“We are cooperating with the SEC, including responding to questions and requests for documents… We cannot comment on why the SEC is investigating the restatement.”

In addition to concerns about inaccurate financial reporting, there is also a second element of the investigaton that has to do with  misrepresentations of earnings of the NOOK:

a separate matter related to a former non-executive employee’s allegation that the Company improperly allocated certain Information Technology expenses between its NOOK and Retail segments for purposes of segment reporting.

Barnes & Noble has been struggling lately as a result of competition with Amazon and mismanaged attempts at reinvention.


Claire Kelley is the Director of Library and Academic Marketing at Melville House.