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Reader's Digest Swings to Profit

Shares fall 4%, though.

Reader's Digest Association


swung to profit in its third quarter.

The Pleasantville, N.Y.-based company earned a profit of $1 million, or 1 cent a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $129.6 million, or $1.33 a share, a year ago. Adjusted for items, the company earned 4 cents a share, a year ago. The previous year's period included a goodwill charge of $129 million, or $1.32 a share, at Books Are Fun. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 9 cents a share in the most recent quarter.

Third-quarter revenue remained flat at $547.4 million as against analysts' estimate of $543 million.

Excluding charges, the company expects to earn 25 cents a share to 30 cents a share in the fourth quarter. The company lowered its guidance to 83 cents a share to 88 cents a share from 90 cents a share to $1.00 a share for the full year. Analysts' estimate stands at 31 cents a share for the fourth quarter and 95 cents a share for the full year.

Revenue from Reader's Digest North America increased 4% to $220 million. Sales for Reader's Digest International were $237 million in the quarter compared with $239 million in the corresponding period a year ago, and consumer business services sales decreased 4% to $97 million.

The company repurchased around 500,000 shares of its stock at a total cost of around $8 million in the quarter.

Shares fell 56 cents Wednesday to $13.88.

This story was created through a joint venture between and IRIS.