Pearson plc (PSO) shares surged to the top of London's FTSE 100 in the opening minutes of trading Tuesday after the struggling publisher lifted the lower end of its full-year profit forecast.
The world's biggest education company on Tuesday said that it was narrowing its guidance for the full year 2017 on good progress made in the first nine months of the year. Pearson now expects its adjusted operating profit in 2017 to be between £576 million ($763.7 million) and £606 million, up from a previous guidance of £546 million to £606 million.
Pearson shares were marked 5.7% higher by 08:45 London time and changing hands at 655 pence each, after suring the most since May 5 earlier in the session.
The former FT owner also improved guidance for its earnings per share to between 51 pence and 54 pence, up from a previous guidance of 45.5 pence to 52.5 pence.
The company cautioned, however, on challenges in the U.S. higher education courseware market over the medium term, a factor that led to its fifth profit warning in four years in January.
In the nine months to the end of September Pearson saw sales decrease 2%, which was in line with guidance, due to expected declines in North America in school assessment, school and higher education courseware. Meanwhile, Sales in US higher education courseware declined by 1% on an underlying basis, towards the upper half of our expected range.
Jefferies analyst Tamsin Garrity reiterated a underperform rating for Pearson in a Tuesday note. "We remain concerned around the structural issues alongside disruption the transition to digital has on top line and margins," Garrity wrote.
More of What's Trending on TheStreet: