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Analysts at Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on shares of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. The firm set a “buy” rating and a $21.00 price target on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus’ price target indicates a potential upside of 18.18% from the company’s current price.

The analysts wrote, “As a leading provider of U.S.-based preK-12 educational solutions, we see Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as the best way to play the anticipated recovery in el-hi publishing. We believe HMHC is in the early stages of a turnaround, and our estimates assume further acceleration of growth, higher cash flows, and profitability following several years of significant losses. At 9.2x and 11.7x our CY14 adj. EBITDA and FCF estimates, respectively, we view valuation as reasonable at these levels.” Some key points from the report included: - Coverage initiation follows the company’s IPO in mid-November. - “We believe HMHC is in the early stages of a turnaround.” - “After emerging from bankruptcy less than two years ago, the company’s balance sheet is vastly improved, while cash flow characteristics should continue to get better, driving higher net cash balances, which yields greater operational flexibility and opportunities to enhance shareholder value (longer term), in our opinion.”

Separately, analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. initiated coverage on shares of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in a research note to investors on Tuesday. They set a “buy” rating and a $19.00 price target on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $20.00.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) opened at 17.77 on Tuesday. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has a 1-year low of $13.74 and a 1-year high of $18.73. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $16.86 and a 200-day moving average of $16.86. The company’s market cap is $2.487 billion.

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