'Hunger Games' Feeds Scholastic -- Stock at a 9-Year High




By Julia Boorstin , CNBC Correspondent

NEW YORK ( CNBC) -- Children's Book Publisher Scholastic ( SCHL) raised its profit forecast for the year on sales of 'The Hunger Games' which have spiked ahead of the first 'Hunger Games' movie, which opens a week from Friday. The stock soared as much as 25% higher this morning to a nine-year high, though they've pulled back since then.

The coming 'Hunger Games' movie from Lionsgate ( LGF) has been driving interest in the book trilogy by Suzanne Collins, brining it from 'young adult' into the mainstream. Sales of the book peaked in the quarter, and could continue to benefit from attention to the film, which is getting good buzz.

Scholastic raised its 2012 projections to revenue of about $2 billion on earnings from continuing operations to $2.50 to $2.90 (up from a forecast of a $1.75 to $2.10 range).

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Revenue in the most recent quarter rose 22%, while the company's net loss from continuing operations narrowed to 9 cents a share from 77 cents a year ago.

This kind of spike on a fan favorite is a familiar story for Scholastic, which also publishers the record-breaking Harry Potter series in the US.

But these series aren't Scholastic's only story: the company continues to benefits from School Book Fairs and from international expansion. Looking to the future, the company says it's also rolling out its children's digital book app and book store, called Storia, while it grows its educational technology business.

-- Written by Julia Boorstin for CNBC.
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