UPDATE 1-School Specialty posts narrower-than-expected Q4 loss
* Q4 adj loss/shr $0.55 vs est loss $0.71
* Revenue falls 10.1 pct to $156.2 mln
* Declines to provide specific earnings outlook
* Expects EPS to rise in FY 2010
* Shares rise 16 pct
June 11 (Reuters) - School-products supplier School Specialty Inc SCHS.O posted a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss, helped by lower expenses, and said its earnings could grow in fiscal 2010.
However, the company did not provide specific earnings outlook figures, citing delays in passage of school budgets and economic uncertainties. The company, which expects gross margin to rise 60 to 70 basis points in fiscal 2010, said it will be in a position to provide specific earnings outlook later in the back-to-school season as it gains more visibility around order velocity.
Greenville, Wisconsin-based School Specialty expects fiscal 2010 revenue of about $960 million, which fell short of analysts estimates of $1.02 billion.
For the fourth-quarter ended April 25, School Specialty posted a loss of $11.3 million, or 60 cents a share, compared with a loss of $15.5 million, or 81 cents a share, a year ago.
Excluding items, it posted a loss of 55 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Revenue fell 10.1 percent to $156.2 million.
Analysts were expecting a loss of 71 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $154.7 million.
Shares of the company were up 14 percent at $22.74 Thursday morning on Nasdaq. They touched a high of $23.09 earlier in the session.
For related alerts, double-click [ID:nWNAB8858] (Reporting by Renju Jose in Bangalore; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan)
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