"Hunger Games" publisher Scholastic's loss widens as revenue falls
* Q1 loss $1.02 per share vs est loss $1.05 per share
* Q1 rev $293.6 mln vs $313.9 mln a year earlier
* Reaffirms FY13 outlook
Sept 20 (Reuters) - Scholastic Corp, publisher of the "Harry Potter" and "The Hunger Games" series of children's books, reported quarterly revenue that missed Wall Street's estimates as sales to the education sector slid.
The fall in education revenue reflected lower spending by school districts, CEO Richard Robinson said. Scholastic had benefited from large, federally funded contracts and major product releases in the same quarter a year earlier.
"Many school districts are concerned about potential automatic cuts to the federal budget, as well as the upcoming Common Core State Standards, and held back funds this summer, delaying product purchases," Robinson said in a statement.
The company, whose results for the year to May 31 were boosted by the success of Suzanne Collins' "Hunger Games" trilogy, had said in the fourth quarter that sales of the books would return to pre-movie levels.
The company has pinned its hopes for its next major hit on "Infinity Ring", a science fiction story (www.infinityring.com).
"The Hunger Games" books aimed at young adults got a huge boost after Lions Gate Entertainment Corp released a movie based on the first novel in March.
The net loss for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 (to Aug. 31) widened to $32.1 million, or $1.02 per share, from a loss of $27.1 million, or 87 cents per share, a year earlier.
Revenue fell 8 percent from a year earlier to $293.6 million, as education sector sales slid 17 percent to $80 million.
Analysts on average expected a loss of $1.05 per share, on revenue of $313.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company reaffirmed its full-year 2013 earnings from continued operations of $2.20 to $2.40 per share, on revenue of $1.90 billion to $2.00 billion.
The New York-based company's shares closed at $33.39 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.
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