“Struggling amid increasing competition in the tablet market, bookseller Barnes & Noble (BKS) said it might spin off its Nook e-reader business to reduce losses as it warned of lower 2012 earnings,” Gillian Rich reports for Investor’s Business Daily.

“Barnes & Noble now expects 2012 consolidated sales of $7 billion to $7.2 billion, below views of $7.3 billion,” Rich reports. “It expects annual EPS losses to be $1.10 to $1.40. Analysts were expecting a 63 cent loss.”

Rich reports, “Nook sales were up 70% from a year ago for the 9-week period ending Dec. 31, but holiday sales for its $99 Nook Simple Touch reader were weaker than expected. Potential Nook customers may have been lured away by Amazon’s entry-level Kindle, which was priced at $79 ahead of the holidays. In addition, Amazon launched its $199 color Kindle Fire on Nov. 15. The Fire was priced $50 less than the Nook’s comparable Nook Tablet… Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch told the AP that he is looking at a ‘range of options’ for the Nook business, including selling the tablet overseas or completely spinning off the company.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: BKS dropped 17.05% in trading today.