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Scholastic Tops Estimates

Second-quarter earnings rise 12%.
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reported a 12% rise in second-quarter earnings, topping Wall Street's projection, as results were helped by revenue growth and improved margins in the publisher's children's book business.

For the quarter ended Nov. 30, Scholastic earned $75.1 million, or $1.75 a share, up from $66.9 million, or $1.58 a share, a year earlier. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had an average estimate for earnings of $1.71 a share.

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Revenue rose 6% to $735.5 million from $696.7 million. Wall Street expected a top line of $703 million.

"Scholastic had a positive second quarter, led by revenue growth and improved margins in the children's book business," said Chairman, President and CEO Richard Robinson. "School Book Club profits rose significantly as a result of strong sales in core clubs and reduced promotion spending, while higher revenue per fair drove solid results in our Fairs business."

The New York-based company backed its prior targets for fiscal 2007 earnings of $1.55 to $1.85 a share and revenue of $2.1 billion to $2.2 billion. Analysts, on average, expect fiscal-year earnings of $1.69 a share and revenue of $2.15 billion.

Shares of Scholastic were up $1.72, or 5.1%, to $35.40 in premarket trading.