Scholastic Corp. Sparing No Expense for CEO Robinson

Last Updated Aug 20, 2008 6:46 PM EDT

Scholastic Corp Business LogoJuggling his titles of Chairman and Chief Executive are making long days even longer for Dick Robinson, of Scholastic Corp., a leading publisher of children's books and educational tools. Testimony to his workload: In fiscal 2008 ended May 31, the company paid Robinson approximately $3.08 million in salary, cash bonus, and stock options. In addition, the company reimbursed him $74,953 for payments made to employees who performed personal services dedicated solely on his behalf, according to the company's recent Proxy Statement.

On July 24, Robinson told analysts on the fourth-quarter 2008 earnings call that the company was targeting operating margins of nine percent to 10 percent in 2010. An aggressive forecast, given paper, printing, shipping, and fuel cost are expected to increase sequentially by another $15 million to $20 million in fiscal 2009.

I wonder if his personal assistants sit in for him at family get-togethers?

To offset cost inflation and to reach its operating goals, Scholastic is looking to reduce overhead cost by $25 million to $35 million on an annualized basis in fiscal 2009, Robinson said.

Sales growth is the other critical element in the company's business plan. However, fiscal 2008 witnessed the publication of the seventh and final book in the blockbuster Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

The company is introducing a number of new children's titles in 2009, including the new Goosebumps Horrorland series (R.L. Stein) and the futuristic trilogy for teens, The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins). First signs as to whether any of the titles are strong enough to drive revenue across multimedia channels will show up come September -- if the kids opt to spend their lunch monies at their schools' book fairs.

Editor David J. Phillips does not hold a financial interest in any stocks mentioned in this article. The 10Q Detective has a Full Disclosure Policy.

  • David Phillips

    David Phillips has more than 25 years' experience on Wall Street, first as a financial consultant and then as an equity analyst for several investment banking firms. He sifts through SEC filings for his blog The 10Q Detective, looking for financial statement soft spots, such as depreciation policies, warranty reserves and restructuring charges. He has been widely quoted in outlets such as BusinessWeek, The International Herald Tribune, Investor's Business Daily, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, and The Wall Street Journal.