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What: Shares of Scholastic were flunking out of class today, falling as much as 15% after reporting a dismal third quarter.
So what: The children's education and publishing specialist said that the drop off in sales of Hunger Games books took a big chunk out of sales. For the quarter ending Feb. 28, Scholastic posted an adjusted EPS loss of ($0.57), down from ($0.33) a year ago. Analysts had expected a loss of ($0.39) per share. Revenue tumbled 19%, to $380.5 million, and the company cut its guidance for the fiscal year ending May 2013 to $1.10-$1.30, its second cut this year. The analyst consensus had stood at $1.52
Now what: The third quarter is generally a weak one for Scholastic, but these results are downright frightening. The children's book publishing business would appear to be in its demise as tablets and e-readers proliferate, and Scholastic may simply be another victim of creative destruction. Book sales fell by a whopping 59% in the quarter, yet its educational technology division only grew revenue by 5%. Scholastic expects digital products to increase profits next year, but long term, it looks like the deck is stacked against it.
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The article Why Scholastic Shares Sank originally appeared on Fool.com.Fool contributor Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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