Tags: Pearson | data | education | PSO

Pearson Shifts from Data to Global Education

By Tim Plaehn   |   Wednesday, 28 Dec 2011 04:23 PM

British publishing company Pearson Ltd. (PSO) takes a global approach to its publishing business, with a focus on education. Over the last two years the company has shifted away from data processing businesses and more toward global education systems.

Pearson owns a group of businesses in print and digital publishing, plus an expanding portfolio of educational companies around the world. Divisions include the Financial Times Group print and online properties; the Penguin Group, which publishes up to 4,000 titles a year; and an education group, which provides educational materials and assessment services in more than 70 countries. The U.S.-traded ADR shares are each backed by one of the London Stock Exchange listed shares.

Pearson makes financial reports on a semi-annual basis. For the first half of 2011 sales increased by 6 percent from a year earlier and profits increased by 20 percent. The Financial Times Group reported sales and profit gains of 7 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

Education sales were up 9 percent with a 31 percent jump in profits. The Penguin Group saw sales drop by 4 percent and overall sales into North America — the company's largest market — were down by 3 percent.

Sales and acquisitions

In 2010 Pearson sold its data division IDC for $2 billion. In December 2011, the company announced the sale of its 50 percent stake in the FTSE financial data services business to the London Stock Exchange (holder of the other half) for $700 million.

On the acquisition side, in November 2011 the purchase of the Chinese company Global Education and Technology Group greatly expands Pearson's English-language education offerings in China.

Pearson pays dividends twice a year, with a smaller, interim dividend at mid-year and a larger final dividend when the annual results are announced, usually in February. The annual dividend has been steadily increased. The stock currently yields 3.5 percent.

Recently, the analysts from Goldman Sachs upgraded Pearson to a buy from the previous neutral rating.

The company next reports on Feb. 28.

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British publishing company Pearson Ltd. (PSO) takes a global approach to its publishing business, with a focus on education. Over the last two years the company has shifted away from data processing businesses and more toward global education systems. Pearson owns a group...
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2011-23-28
 

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