Reviewing Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) and John Wiley & Sons (NYSE:WLYB)

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC – Get Rating) and John Wiley & Sons (NYSE:WLYB – Get Rating) are both mid-cap business services companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, risk, profitability, valuation, dividends, institutional ownership and earnings.

Risk and Volatility

Comparatively, John Wiley & Sons has a beta of 0.79, suggesting that its share price is 21% less volatile than the S&P 500 .

Institutional and Insider Ownership

85.9% of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt shares are held by institutional investors. 2.3% of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 29.7% of John Wiley & Sons shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and John Wiley & Sons’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross revenue Price/sales ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/earnings ratio
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $1.05 billion 2.56 $213.58 million $1.61 13.06
John Wiley & Sons $1.94 billion 1.54 $148.26 million $2.59 20.75

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has higher earnings, but lower revenue than John Wiley & Sons. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 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.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and John Wiley & Sons, as provided by

sell ratings hold ratings Buy rating Strong Buy Ratings rating score
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 0 2 0 0 2.00
John Wiley & Sons 0 0 0 0 N / A

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt currently has a consensus target price of $20.00, indicating a potential downside of 4.90%. Given Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is more favorable than John Wiley & Sons.


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

net margins return on equity return on assets
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 20.33% 0.81% 0.11%
John Wiley & Sons 7.06% 18.61% 6.04%

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Get Rating)

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company, a learning technology company, provides curriculum, supplemental, intervention solutions, and professional learning services worldwide. It offers education programs in disciplines including reading, literature, math, science, and social studies; and extensions, such as supplementary and intervention solutions, professional services, professional resources, and educational services for teachers under the Heinemann brand. 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.

About John Wiley & Sons (Get Rating)

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. operates as a research and education company worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Research Publishing & Platforms, Academic & Professional Learning, and Education Services. The Research Publishing & Platforms segment offers scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, as well as related content and services to learned societies, individual researchers, other professionals, and academic, corporate, and government libraries. This segment also publishes physical sciences and engineering, health sciences, social sciences, and humanities and life sciences journals; and provides a publishing software and service for scholarly and professional societies, and publishers to deliver, host, enhance, market, and manage their content on the web through the Literatum platform. It sells and distributes its products through various channels, including research libraries and library consortia, and independent subscription agents, as well as directly to professional society members, and other customers. The Academic & Professional Learning segment provides scientific, professional, and education print and digital books, digital courseware, and test preparation services to libraries, corporations, students, professionals, and researchers, as well as learning, development, and assessment services for businesses and professionals. This segment distributes its products through chain and online booksellers, libraries, colleges and universities, corporations, direct to consumer, websites, distributor networks, and other online applications. The Education Services segment provides online program management services for higher education institutions and mthree talent placement services for professionals and businesses. The company was founded in 1807 and is headquartered in Hoboken, New Jersey.

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