NEW YORK (
was among the Nasdaq's biggest losers Thursday after the children's publisher missed quarterly expectations and lowered its 2011 guidance.
Scholastic lowered its fiscal 2011 outlook, saying it now expects revenue in the $1.9 billion to $1.95 billion range, with earnings per share between $1.80 and $2.05.
Analysts' consensus call was for 2011 profits of $2.22 per share.
Investors voiced their disappointment loudly, bidding Scholastic shares 7% lower to trade at $27.68 ahead of midday. Scholastic shares traded on heavier-than-normal volume with more than 472,000 shares in play, compared with their average daily trading volume of 172,000.
On Wednesday, Scholastic announced its board approved a 33% increase of its
quarterly cash dividend. It will reward investors of its Class A and common shares with a payment of 10 cents per share, up from 7.5 cents per share, on March 15 to holders of record on Jan. 31.
Based on the increased payout, shareholders can expects a dividend yield of around 1.4%.
Scholastic said it grew revenue by 2% to $675.7 million in its fiscal 2011 second quarter. Increased sales were attributed, in part, to strong demand for its
titles as the series' seventh movie was released in theatres.
EPS from continuing operations came in at $2.19 per share, down 42.2% from year-earlier results. Lower profits were attributed to lower year-over-year sales of educational technology as well as higher promotion spending in its School Book Clubs, and a bigger investment in certain digital initiatives.
-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.
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