UPDATE 1-Scholastic's quarterly sales dip, to cut costs

Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:08am EST

* Second-quarter earnings $1.89/share vs $2.60 last year

* Revenue down 10 percent at $616.2 mln

* Expects to save up to $30 mln through cost cuts

Dec 20 (Reuters) - Children's book publisher Scholastic Corp reported lower quarterly results as sales of its "The Hunger Games" trilogy tapered off and revenue in its high-margin educational business fell.

The company said it expected to save up to $30 million through cost cuts in the year ending May 31, but did not specify where the savings would be made.

Net income fell to $61.8 million, or $1.89 per share, in the second quarter, from $82.8 million, or $2.60 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell 10 percent to $616.2 million.

Sales of its educational products fell 20 percent to $52.2 million on lower spending by schools on educational technology products as they focused on training as part of making learning more uniform across the United States.

The business, which includes READ 180, brought in about 12 percent of total revenue last year.

The U.S. publisher of the "Harry Potter" series said in September that fears of the federal budget falling off a "fiscal cliff" were slowing spending by schools.

Scholastic in November cut its full-year forecast to earnings from continuing operations between $1.40 and $1.60 per share on revenue of about $1.8 billion to $1.9 billion.

Shares of New York-based Scholastic closed at $29.29 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.

The stock plunged 18 percent -- its highest intra-day percentage drop in more than nine years -- to a near-year low of $25.03 on Nov. 21, a day after the company cut its forecast.