Faced with dropping e-reader sales,
The split will be completed by the first quarter of next year, the company said.
Barnes & Noble posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $36.7 million, or 72 cents a share, compared with a loss of $114.8 million, or $2.04, a year earlier. Revenue rose 3.5% to $1.32 billion, helped by the company's college business.
Analysts estimated a loss of 59 cents a share and revenue of $1.19 billion.
"We believe we are now in a better position to begin in earnest those steps necessary to accomplish a separation of Nook Media and Barnes & Noble Retail," Michael P. Huseby, the company's chief executive, said in a statement. "We have determined that these businesses will have the best chance of optimizing shareholder value if they are capitalized and operated separately."
The New York-based bookstore chain launched the Nook as an effort to compete with