UPDATE 1-Scholastic revenue hit by declining sales of Hunger Games

Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:07am EDT

* Q4 revenue down 25 pct to $506.9 mln

* Q4 earnings per share down to 66 cents from $1.76

* Sees FY 2014 revenue of about $1.8 bln

July 18 (Reuters) - Publisher Scholastic Corp reported a 25 percent drop in quarterly revenue due to lower sales of "The Hunger Games," a trilogy of scientific fiction novels by Suzanne Collins.

The company has been facing declining sales of the trilogy, and has been making efforts to cut costs. It also lowered its revenue forecast for 2013 twice as its high-margin educational business was seeing lower sales.

However, revenue at Scholastic's educational business saw a 2 percent rise in the fourth quarter, helped by the launch of "System 44 Next Generation", which helps students master reading skills.

Revenue at the company's largest business, children's book publishing and distribution, fell 36 percent in the quarter, despite the Hunger Games trilogy remaining on The New York Times bestseller list.

Net income more than halved to $21.5 million, or 66 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, from $57.0 million, or $1.76 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell to $506.9 million from $676.6 million a year ago.

For the full year, Scholastic expects earnings of about $1.40 to $1.80 from continuing operations on revenue of about $1.8 billion.

The company's shares, which have risen about 23 percent in the last three months, closed at $32.10 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.