Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Scholastic (NASDAQ:SCHL) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Tuesday morning.

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. “

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on SCHL. BidaskClub raised Scholastic from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, September 11th. ValuEngine raised Scholastic from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, July 10th. TheStreet cut Scholastic from a b- rating to a c rating in a report on Monday, September 17th. UBS Group reissued a sell rating on shares of Scholastic in a report on Tuesday, August 21st. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reissued a hold rating and set a $43.00 price target (up previously from $40.00) on shares of Scholastic in a report on Monday, July 16th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $48.50.

NASDAQ:SCHL opened at $42.73 on Tuesday. Scholastic has a fifty-two week low of $33.85 and a fifty-two week high of $47.76. The firm has a market cap of $1.51 billion, a PE ratio of 30.78 and a beta of 0.67.

Scholastic (NASDAQ:SCHL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 19th. The company reported $1.45 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.37 by $0.08. Scholastic had a positive return on equity of 3.97% and a negative net margin of 0.31%. The company had revenue of $496.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $527.20 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.31 EPS. Scholastic’s revenue was down .7% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Scholastic will post 1.46 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 17th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 31st were issued a $0.15 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 30th. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.40%. Scholastic’s payout ratio is presently 41.96%.

In other Scholastic news, EVP Judith Newman sold 28,177 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.31, for a total value of $1,163,991.87. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 19,157 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $791,375.67. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 47,194 shares of company stock valued at $1,953,703. Insiders own 21.79% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. US Bancorp DE increased its holdings in Scholastic by 7.7% in the 1st quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 16,544 shares of the company’s stock worth $642,000 after purchasing an additional 1,184 shares in the last quarter. Sei Investments Co. increased its holdings in Scholastic by 15.1% in the 1st quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 9,995 shares of the company’s stock worth $388,000 after purchasing an additional 1,315 shares in the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new position in Scholastic in the 1st quarter worth about $102,000. Granite Investment Partners LLC increased its holdings in Scholastic by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Granite Investment Partners LLC now owns 317,838 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,083,000 after purchasing an additional 3,421 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Barclays PLC grew its position in shares of Scholastic by 33.3% in the 1st quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 14,401 shares of the company’s stock valued at $559,000 after buying an additional 3,599 shares during the last quarter. 81.54% of the stock is 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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