Barnes & Noble Inc., whose founder Leonard Riggio plans to offer to buy the bookstore chain’s retail assets, posted a $6.06 million third-quarter net loss as sales slowed for its Nook e-readers and tablets.

The net loss in the quarter ended Jan. 26 was 18 cents a share, compared with profit of $52 million, or 71 cents, a year earlier, the New York-based company said Thursday in a statement.

Barnes & Noble has been navigating the shift to digital content with its Nook brand of electronic devices while working to reverse two years of net losses as readers spend less time at stores. Riggio said on Monday that he plans to make a bid for the more than 680 stores and website of the chain he founded more than 40 years ago.

Sales dropped 8.8 percent to $2.22 billion as purchases of its Nook devices slowed. Analysts projected $2.4 billion, the average of five estimates. Revenue from its Nook division, which had been growing, sank 26 percent to $316 million as the company discounted devices and recorded charges from returns by retail partners.

Barnes & Noble rose Thursday after earlier falling as much as 2.6 percent. The shares added 0.9 percent this year through Wednesday, compared with a 6.3 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.