Scholastic posts 29 percent jump in 2Q profit

AP News
Posted: Dec 17, 2009 8:16 AM

Scholastic Corp. posted a 29 percent jump Thursday in its second-quarter profit, helped by increased sales of higher-margin education technology products, select price increases and cost reductions.

But Scholastic, which makes the bulk of its revenue selling children's books, said sales fell 6 percent in its children's book publishing and distribution segment.

The company, which is based in New York, earned $55.5 million, or $1.51 per share, in the quarter ended Nov. 30, up from $43.1 million, or $1.15 per share, a year ago.

Stripping out one-time costs related to severance and other items, the company said it would have earned $2.29 per share, compared with $1.72.

Sales inched up 1 percent to $660.1 million from $653.3 million a year ago.

Scholastic said higher technology sales lifted its operating margin to 22 percent of sales from 18 percent of sales. Revenue from technology and related services nearly doubled to roughly $50 million.

Scholastic also reaffirmed its outlook for the full fiscal year, which ends for the company in May. It expects earnings of $1.80 to $2.30 per share excluding special items.