Talking Numbers

Barnes & Noble turns the page

Barnes & Noble turns the page

Barnes & Noble is heading for splitsville.

The company announced Wednesday that its board has agreed to separate its retail business from its Nook business and create two public companies.

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"The decision has been looked at for some period of time in terms of how to best structure the company's stock to my shareholder value," said Barnes & Noble CEO Michael Huseby on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" Wednesday morning. "And the board decided recently that a separation of nook media, which, as you know, contains our consumer digital business and our college business, and the Barnes and Noble retails business, is the best way to optimize shareholder value."

News of the split sent shares of Barnes & Noble on a wild ride Wednesday, eventually closing up more than 5 percent.

(Watch: Barnes & Noble splitting)

So, will this next chapter be good for the stock long-term, and should you invest?

"We're not buying in just yet," said Erin Gibbs of S&P Capital IQ. "[Wall Street] has been pushing them to split or spinoff the Nook business for over a year now. Management finally capitulates, but that doesn't mean the overlying business, the retail business, is stable."

But despite finally taking Wall Street's advice, Gibbs still doesn't see solid growth potential for Barnes & Noble. "The big problem is that their industry, retailing books, is in a secular long-term downtrend. It's just not favorable."

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And according to JC O'Hara of FBN Securities, investors shouldn't chase the stock at current levels.

"To me, what is very concerning is that $23 [per share] area," he noted. "Any time the stock starts approaching $23 [per share], that's when managers decide to start selling."

O'Hara's advice, "If I own it, I would be hanging on to it right here, but there's no buy signals until I get a sustained break above $23 [per share]."