Pearson share price rallies as investors cheer ‘good start’ to year

Liberum continues to see publisher as a ‘sell’

Pearson share price rallies as investors cheer ‘good start’ to year

Shares in Pearson (LON:PSON) have jumped in London in today’s session, with investors cheering the group’s first-quarter performance. The blue-chip published reported a ‘good start’ to the year, noting that its operating performance was on track.

As of 13:38 BST, Pearson’s share price had added 6.14 percent to 881.00p, outperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.30 percent higher at 7,525.08 points. The group’s shares have added a little over a third to their value over the past year, as compared with a near four-percent rise in the Footsie.

‘Good start to year’

Pearson announced in a statement today that its total underlying revenues had climbed one percent in the first quarter, with growth in North America and Core partially offset by a decline in the company’s Growth segment. While Pearson’s US higher education courseware revenues grew slightly, the publisher cautioned that the underlying market pressures in the business continued to impact gross sales as expected.

“We have made a good start to 2018, performing in line with our expectations,” the publisher’s chief executive John Fallon noted in the statement, adding that Pearson continued to  make good progress against its strategic priorities including its digital transformation and expects to grow underlying profit in the current year.

Liberum not convinced

Analysts at Liberum, however, reaffirmed the blue-chip publisher as a ‘sell,’ with a price target of 450p on the shares, noting that the group’s first-quarter update did not change their view of the company.

“While the FY guidance has been reiterated, we highlight that Q1 is not representative for Pearson and the group's profits are largely weighted towards H2,” the broker pointed out in a note to clients, as quoted by Proactive Investors.

As of 14:08 BST, Friday, 04 May, Pearson plc share price is 889.60p.

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