Financial Survey: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Learning Technology (HMHC) & John Wiley & Sons (JW.A)

John Wiley & Sons (NYSE: JW.A) and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Learning Technology (NASDAQ:HMHC) are both consumer staples companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, risk, profitability, institutional ownership, earnings, analyst recommendations and valuation.

Analyst Recommendations

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This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for John Wiley & Sons and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Learning Technology, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
John Wiley & Sons 0 2 0 0 2.00
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Learning Technology 1 4 1 0 2.00

John Wiley & Sons presently has a consensus price target of $60.00, suggesting a potential downside of 9.57%. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Learning Technology has a consensus price target of $11.17, suggesting a potential upside of 46.93%. Given Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Learning Technology’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Learning Technology is more favorable than John Wiley & Sons.

Profitability

This table compares John Wiley & Sons and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Learning Technology’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
John Wiley & Sons 10.44% 18.07% 7.09%
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Learning Technology -7.34% -18.00% -5.33%

Dividends

John Wiley & Sons pays an annual dividend of $1.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.9%. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Learning Technology does not pay a dividend. John Wiley & Sons pays out 42.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares John Wiley & Sons and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Learning Technology’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
John Wiley & Sons $1.72 billion 2.20 $113.64 million $3.00 22.12
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Learning Technology $1.41 billion 0.67 -$103.18 million ($1.25) -6.08

John Wiley & Sons has higher revenue and earnings than Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Learning Technology. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Learning Technology is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than John Wiley & Sons, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

74.5% of John Wiley & Sons shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.0% of John Wiley & Sons shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 1.1% of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Learning Technology shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk and Volatility

John Wiley & Sons has a beta of 0.99, suggesting that its stock price is 1% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Learning Technology has a beta of 0.59, suggesting that its stock price is 41% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

John Wiley & Sons beats Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Learning Technology on 11 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About John Wiley & Sons

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. provides knowledge and knowledge-enabled services in the areas of research, professional practice and education. The Company operates through three segments: Research, Professional Development and Education. Through the Research segment, the Company provides digital and print scientific, technical, medical and scholarly journals, reference works, books, database services and advertising. The Professional Development segment provides digital and print books, corporate learning solutions, employment talent solutions and training services, and test prep and certification. In the Education segment, the Company provides print and digital content, and education solutions, including online program management services for higher education institutions and course management tools for instructors and students. The Company is engaged in developing and cross-marketing products to its customer base of researchers, professionals, students and educators.

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Learning Technology

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company, a learning company, provides content, services, and technology solutions for educational institutions and consumers worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Education and Trade Publishing. The Education segment provides educational products, technology platforms, and services, including print and digital content in the form of textbooks, digital courseware, instructional aids, educational assessment, and intervention solutions for students. The Trade Publishing segment primarily develops, markets, and sells consumer books in print and digital formats, as well as licenses book rights to other publishers and electronic businesses; and trade and reference materials, such as adult and children's fiction and non-fiction books to schools, colleges, libraries, office supply distributors, and other businesses. This segment distributes products through retail stores comprising physical and online, and wholesalers. The company was formerly known as HMH Holdings (Delaware), Inc. and changed its name to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company in October 2013. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company was founded in 1832 and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.

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