Scholastic (NASDAQ:SCHL) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Scholastic (NASDAQ:SCHL) from a strong sell rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $39.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Scholastic Corporation is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology and children’s media. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children’s books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs and school-based book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries & television networks. The company distributes its products and services directly to schools and libraries through retail stores and the Internet. “

Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Scholastic from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, June 14th. BidaskClub raised shares of Scholastic from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 17th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $41.50.

NASDAQ:SCHL traded up $0.01 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $34.75. 196,327 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 159,244. The stock has a market cap of $1.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.18 and a beta of 0.84. Scholastic has a 52-week low of $31.38 and a 52-week high of $47.94. The company’s 50 day moving average is $33.20.

Scholastic (NASDAQ:SCHL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The company reported $1.14 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.85 by $0.29. The company had revenue of $470.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $456.80 million. Scholastic had a net margin of 0.94% and a return on equity of 3.49%. Scholastic’s revenue was down 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.45 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Scholastic will post 1.29 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 16th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 30th will be paid a $0.15 dividend. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.73%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 29th. Scholastic’s dividend payout ratio is presently 55.56%.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Swiss National Bank raised its holdings in shares of Scholastic by 2.4% in the 2nd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 56,200 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,868,000 after purchasing an additional 1,300 shares in the last quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Scholastic by 1.5% in the second quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 22,664 shares of the company’s stock worth $753,000 after acquiring an additional 344 shares in the last quarter. Alpha Windward LLC increased its position in shares of Scholastic by 10.7% in the second quarter. Alpha Windward LLC now owns 12,420 shares of the company’s stock worth $415,000 after acquiring an additional 1,200 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Scholastic by 329.2% in the second quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 46,279 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,538,000 after acquiring an additional 35,496 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL increased its position in shares of Scholastic by 29.9% in the second quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL now owns 23,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $794,000 after acquiring an additional 5,500 shares in the last quarter. 80.38% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Scholastic Company Profile

Scholastic Corporation publishes and distributes children's books worldwide. It operates in three segments: Children's Book Publishing and Distribution, Education, and International. The Children's Book Publishing and Distribution segment publishes and distributes children's books, e-books, media, and interactive products through its school book club and school book fair channels, as well as through its trade channel.

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