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What: Shares of children's book publisher Scholastic
So what: For starters, Scholastic's third-quarter numbers crushed Wall Street's expectations. For the three months ending in February, revenue clocked in at $467 million, up 22% from the prior year. On the bottom line, the seasonality of Scholastic's business led to a loss, but the $0.09 per-share loss was much lower than the $0.77 loss from 2011. Analysts had been expecting a net loss per share of $0.70 on revenue of $393 million.
The strong results were driven in large part by sales of the Hunger Games book series. Scholastic said that sales of the trilogy "reached a high point" during the quarter ahead of the release of the movie adaptation of the first book.
Now what: Topping expectations for the third quarter is great, but what investors may be really excited about today is a significant boost to the company's full-year outlook. For its fiscal year, Scholastic now sees revenue of $2 billion and earnings per share ranging from $2.60 to $2.90. That compares to a previous forecast of $1.9 billion in sales and EPS from $1.75 to $2.10.
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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not have a financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or Facebook. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.