LONDON -- The shares of Pearson were flat at 1,146p early this afternoon after the Financial Times publisher reported first-quarter sales rising 3%, to £1.2bn.
Pearson, which also publishes the Penguin books, revealed it expects operating profits for 2013 to be broadly similar to 2012, or 82p per share, in line with market expectations.
The company confirmed that profits will be lower in the first half of 2013, however, due to the phasing-in of £150m of restructuring costs to "reshape the company," and tackle new opportunities in digital print and developing markets.
The Financial Times segment of Pearson's business reported a 4% increase in digital subscriptions to 328,000, but faced "weak trading conditions for advertising" according to the company.
Looking at the year ahead, Pearson said:
We expect the external environment to remain challenging for our developed world and publishing businesses in 2013 owing to a combination of cyclical and structural factors: pressures on education budgets and college enrollments; retail consolidation; the shift in our business model from print sales to digital subscriptions; changing consumer behaviour and a dynamic competitive landscape.
In general, we expect market conditions to remain favourable for our businesses in developing economies and education software and services.
With a market cap of £9.3bn, Pearson is valued at 15.5 times expected earnings. The company will vote today to confirm an increase in the full-year dividend to 45p per share, offering a trailing dividend yield of 3.9%.
Of course, whether that valuation and the prospects for global publishing combine to make Pearson a "buy," is something only you can decide.
But if you already own shares in Pearson and are looking for alternative investment opportunities, this exclusive wealth report reviews five particularly attractive possibilities.
Indeed, all five opportunities offer a mix of robust prospects, illustrious histories, and dependable dividends, and have just been declared by the Fool as "5 Shares You Can Retire On!"
Just click here for the report -- it's free.
The article Pearson Hikes Dividend by 7% to Yield 3.9% originally appeared on Fool.com.Mark Rogers 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.
Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.