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Scholastic sees 2Q revenue boost, crediting page-turners like Harry Potter and The Wonky Donkey

The Wonky Donkey sold more than 1 million books in October and was named a top 10 Christmas book by Nielsen BookScan
Harry Potter books on a shelf
JK Rowling’s original screenplay Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was another best-seller

Scholastic Corporation’s (NASDAQ:SCHL) saw a boost in revenue in its second quarter, lifted by page-turning titles in its trade publishing segment, including the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary edition and popular children’s book, The Wonky Donkey.

The publisher reported earnings of $1.99 per share compared with $1.60 in the previous second quarter. Adjusted earnings were $2.09 per share, missing consensus estimates of $2.16 per share.

Shares of the New York-based company slipped about 2.5% to US$41 in Thursday pre-market trading, then falling sharply in the first minutes of the regular session.

READ: Winnebago's fiscal 1Q sales growth drives earnings beat

Quarterly revenue totaled $604.7 million, slightly higher than last year’s revenue of $598.3 million and ahead of analyst estimates of $602.2 million.

The publisher’s best-selling titles include Dav Pilkey's Dog Man, Harry Potter 20th Anniversary editions, and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the new original screenplay by J. K. Rowling.

The Wonky Donkey sold more than 1 million books in October, quickly rising to the number one book in the US.

It’s the first book for preschoolers to make the top 10 Christmas chart since records began 25 years ago, according to figures compiled by Nielsen BookScan.

“In the quarter, children's book revenues were up on strong performance in trade, while our school club and fair channels were on par with last year. Scholastic's trade publishing in the U.S. and across the globe once again was at the top of all the bestseller lists,” said CEO Richard Robinson in the company’s press release.

Scholastic reaffirmed its expectation for full-year earnings in the range of $1.60 to $1.70 per share with revenue in the range of $1.65 billion to $1.7 billion.

The company recently acquired the rights to actress Alyssa Milano’s children's book series, Hope. The series features an 11-year-old girl named Hope looking to make a positive change in her community and is expected to be published in October 2019.


Contact Lenore Fedow at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter@LenoreMariee

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