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Scholastic earnings fall as 'Hunger Games' fades

NEW YORK (AP) -- Readers are not as hungry for "The Hunger Games" books as they were a year ago, which hurt Scholastic Corp.'s fiscal fourth-quarter results, sending its stock down more than 6 percent.

Scholastic said Thursday that earned $21.5 million, or 66 cents per share, in the three months that ended on May 31. That's down from $57 million, or $1.76 per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue fell 25 percent $506.9 million from $676.6 million.

FactSet only has one analyst estimate for the company. That analyst was expecting earnings of 82 cents per share on revenue of $514.3 million.

The company blamed lower revenue per order from its book clubs as well as falling sales of the hit "Hunger Games" trilogy.

As readers buy more electronic books on tablets and e-readers, Scholastic has been investing in e-books and other digital ventures, but this has weighed on profits. The company said it plans to improve its profitability in the current fiscal year, "while continuing to invest in key areas of long-term growth, including children's book distribution and educational content and services."

For fiscal 2014, Scholastic expects earnings from continuing operations in the range of $1.40 to $1.80 per share on revenue of about $1.8 billion.

Shares of the company fell $2.09, or 6.5 percent, to $30.01 in morning trading. The stock has traded between $25.03 and $34.55 in the past 52 weeks.