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shares are spiking after the Penguin books publisher raised its 2010 earnings guidance on Wednesday.

The company expects its 2010 earnings from continuing operations to be up 20% to approximately £850 million, or $1.36 billion, compared with £710 million, or $1.14 billion in 2009.

It also expects adjusted earnings to rise 16% to approximately 76 pence per share, or $1.22 a share, from 65.4 pence a share, or $1.05 a share in 2009, and up from its previous guidance of 72 pence, or $1.15.

"All of Pearson's major businesses sustained their strong trading momentum throughout 2010," the company said in a statement today. "We will report healthy sales growth and further margin improvement, fueled by our consistent investment in the global learning industry, in digital services and in developing economies."

Pearson said its

Financial Times

division will report strong profit growth as the advertising market continued to improve.

It also said that its Penguin publishing group has benefited from the expanding digital reading market.

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"We performed strongly in our key trading season and will report record results despite tough conditions in the physical book retail market," Pearson said.

Pearson shares spiked to a 52-week high of $17.14 this morning and is now trading up almost 6% to around $17.05. The company is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results on Feb. 28.

--Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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