January 16, 2003 11:54 AM

With so many minds on the stock market these days, Harry Potter has managed to work a bit of magic. Well, just a little.

On Wednesday, after the early morning report out of London that, finally, J.K. Rowling would have her fifth Harry Potter adventure on the world’s bookshelves this June 21, shares of the Scholastic Corporation, the American publisher of the series, shot up — but only modestly, reports The New York Times.

At Wednesday’s close of the market, Scholastic shares were at $37.52, up $2.99, or 8.7 percent. Meanwhile, shares of Bloomsbury Publishing, the British publisher of the series, rose 27.5 pence, or 4 percent, to close at 715 pence — about $1.15 — in London trading.

The fifth book in the phenomenal series, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” had originally been scheduled to be published last summer, so Wednesday’s news had been a long-awaited announcement for both fans and the publishing houses, for which Harry is seemingly a money machine.

Or is he?

“This technically isn’t a big deal, but people think it is,” Lauren Rich Fine, a Merrill Lynch analyst who follows Scholastic, tells The Times. “It will be a blockbuster, but I do not expect it to be that material as a percent of Scholastic’s sales. Maybe it will be 5 percent of sales.”

The analyst expects Harry’s latest adventure to generate about $115 million for the American publisher — which last fiscal year made $1.9 billion.

Still, not bad for some Muggles.

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