Scholastic profit rises on "Hunger Games" sales

Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:03am EDT

(Reuters) - Children's books publisher Scholastic Corp reported higher quarterly results, helped by strong sales of its popular "The Hunger Games" trilogy.

Suzanne Collins' science-fiction trilogy became a major draw among young adults as Lions Gate Entertainment Corp released its movie based on the first novel of the series in March.

Scholastic raised its 2012 profit forecast in April, expecting the movie franchise to drive sales further.

The company, which publishes the Harry Potter series in the United States, also forecast earnings from continuing operations between $2.20 and $2.40 per share for 2013 on revenue between $1.9 billion and $2 billion.

It expects sales of the Hunger Games trilogy to return to pre-movie levels in the period.

Net income from continuing operations rose to $60.4 million, or $1.86 per share, for the fourth quarter from $26.3 million, or 83 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 24 percent to $678.5 million.

The company also released its e-reading app and ebook system for children called Storia in the quarter ended May.

The New-York based company's shares, which have fallen 20 percent since touching a year-high $40.17, were up 4.6 percent at $30.51 in premarket trading. They closed at $29.16 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Rodney Joyce and Joyjeet Das)