(Corrects dividend figure in paragraph seven to 7.5 cents from 75 cents a share)
* Q2 adj EPS $1.72 vs est $2.12
* Q2 rev $661.6 mln vs $687.6 mln yr ago
* Sees FY 09 adj EPS $1.20-$1.50 vs est $1.72
Dec 18 (Reuters) - Scholastic Corp (SCHL.O) posted lower-than-expected quarterly earnings as revenue in its children’s and educational publishing segments fell and cut its fiscal 2009 earnings outlook, citing the current market environment.
The children’s book publisher slashed its 2009 earnings forecast to $1.20 to $1.50 a share from the $1.75 to $2.10 a share it forecast earlier. It forecast free cash flow of $55 million to $80 million.
The company earned $43.1 million, or $1.15, a share for the second quarter ended Nov. 30, compared with the net income of $75.6 million, or $1.93 a share, in the year-ago period.
Excluding severance and one-time expenses associated with its cost reduction plans, it earned $1.72 a share, compared with analyst expectations of $2.12 a share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Revenue from continuing operations fell 4 percent to $661.6 million. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange, revenue from continuing operations declined 1 percent.
The U.S. publisher of Harry Potter novels said revenue declined in trade publishing, reflecting lower shipments of Harry Potter.
Competitors of Scholastic, which on Wednesday announced a quarterly cash dividend of 7.5 cents a share, include CBS Corp’s (CBS.N) publishing unit, Simon & Schuster, and Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (BLPU.L).
Shares of the Broadway, New York-based company were trading at $14.00 in trading before the bell. They closed at $16.53 Wednesday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Shrutika Verma in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)