UPDATE 1-Scholastic posts wider Q1 loss, to buy back shares

Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:59am EDT

* Q1 $0.98 loss/shr vs $0.63 loss/shr, a year ago

* Rev down 8 pct at $290.9 mln vs est. $329.3 mln

* Backs 2011 EPS view $1.95-$2.20, rev $1.9-$2 bln

* Shares up 8 pct

Sept 23 (Reuters) - Scholastic Corp (SCHL.O), the U.S. publisher of Harry Potter novels, posted a wider-than-expected loss as sales slowed at its educational publishing segments, and said it would buy back $150 million worth stock at a premium to Wednesday's close. Shares of the company rose as much as 8 percent in morning trade. The company expects to repurchase 5.6 million of its common shares at a price between $27 and $31 a share. Scholastic shares closed at $25.51 Wednesday on Nasdaq.

First-quarter net loss widened to $35.2 million, or 98 cents a share, from $23 million, or 63 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue fell 8 percent to $290.9 million.

Excluding items, the company reported a loss of 92 cents, compared with analysts expectations of 57 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The children's book publisher reaffirmed its full-year 2011 outlook.

Shares of the New York-based company were up 5.2 percent at $26.83 in morning trade on Nasdaq.

Barring today's gains, they shed 2 percent since the company reported results late July. (Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bangalore; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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