Following a sluggish first quarter, sales and earnings at John Wiley & Sons rebounded in the second period, as all three of the company's core segments posted gains over the comparable quarter in fiscal 2004. For the period ended October 31, total revenue rose 8%, to $247 million, and net income increased 3%, to $26.5 million. Excluding foreign currency gains, revenue was up 6%.

The most significant improvement came in Wiley's higher education segment, where sales rose 8%, to $40.7 million. In the first quarter, sales in the segment fell 4%. Wiley attributed the gains to growth in its social sciences and science programs, plus lower returns. Company CEO Will Pesce, however, warned that conditions in the college market remain "difficult," due to what he termed student "price, value" concerns. To address the pricing issue, Wiley launched eGrade Plus this summer. The company sold 50,000 units of eGrade, which provides students with a print and/or online textbook along with online study guides and self-testing materials. Wiley is also upping the number of college texts that it makes available through's Search Inside the Book feature. The company, which already has a large number of its professional/trade titles in the program, had adopted a more conservative approach for college texts, making only 50 titles available in a test. Spokesperson Susan Spilka said Wiley has seen enough positive results to add more texts to Search Inside.

After a flat first quarter, sales in Wiley's professional/trade segment rose 3% in the second period, to $89.1 million. The gain was led by sales in the business, architecture, professional culinary, psychology and eduction segments. Returns were down. Pesce noted that after a weak August, sales improved in September and October, and said he was "looking forward to a solid third quarter."

During the second quarter, the first four For Dummies "micro magazines" were published under a licensing deal with the magazine publisher American Media Inc. The magazines' content is drawn from material in the Dummies books, and plans call for 24 magazines to be published annually. Also in the quarter, Wiley signed a deal with the financial newsletter publisher Agora Publishing to publish a line of financial books beginning next spring.

Sales in Wiley's STM segment rose 9% in the quarter, to $46.7 million. Gains in journals led the sales increase.

In Wiley's international segment, sales to Europe were up 13% (6% excluding foreign currency gains). Journal and book sales were both up, with book sales getting a boost from higher sales through Amazon. Sales in Asia, Australia and Canada increased 7% (3% excluding foreign currency gains). Business was strong throughout Asia, although a delay in school ordering hurt sales in Australia. Wiley Canada's performance was mixed, with higher education sales down, while sales in the professional/trade division rose.