Scholastic raises outlook as Hunger Games sales soar

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 15, 2012 9:14 AM

(Reuters) - Children's books publisher Scholastic Corp posted a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss and raised its outlook for the year, driven in part by increased sales of 'The Hunger Games' trilogy and higher book fair sales.

Sales of the Hunger Games books, Suzanne Collins' popular series of young adult novels, reached a high point in the quarter, ahead of the release of a movie based on it next week, Chief Executive Richard Robinson said.

The U.S. publisher of the Harry Potter series sees 2012 earnings from continuing operations at between $2.60 and $2.90 per share, and raised its revenue guidance to about $2 billion.

It had earlier forecast earnings per share of $1.75 to $2.10 from continuing operations on revenue of about $1.9 billion.

For the third quarter, net loss from continuing operations narrowed to $3.2 million, or 9 cents a share, from $25.1 million, or 77 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue for the quarter rose 22 percent to $467 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S expected Scholastic to post a loss of 70 cents a share on revenue of $393 million in the quarter.

Shares of the company were up 8 percent in pre-market trade on Thursday. They had closed at $32.20 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Anthony Kurian)