Scholastic Corp (NASDAQ:SCHL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Scholastic Corp. creates and distributes innovative and quality educational materials for use in school – children’s books, textbooks, magazines, technology and teacher materials and engaging and appropriate products for use at home – magazines, software, television programming, videos and toys. Scholastic is unique in its understanding of what kids want and need to read and learn. The company is a world leader in children’s school book clubs and school book fairs, through which children purchase books and software. (PRESS RELEASE) “

Separately, Stifel Nicolaus cut their target price on Scholastic Corp from $45.00 to $44.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, March 28th.

Shares of Scholastic Corp (NASDAQ:SCHL) traded up 0.50% on Thursday, reaching $42.06. The company had a trading volume of 54,296 shares. Scholastic Corp has a 52 week low of $35.20 and a 52 week high of $49.38. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $42.73 and its 200 day moving average price is $44.66. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.46 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.70 and a beta of 0.98.

Scholastic Corp (NASDAQ:SCHL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 23rd. The company reported ($0.36) EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.25) by $0.11. The company had revenue of $336.20 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $368 million. Scholastic Corp had a net margin of 2.98% and a return on equity of 5.71%. The firm’s revenue was down 8.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned ($0.06) earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Scholastic Corp will post $1.68 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, April 28th will be issued a dividend of $0.15 per share. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.43%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, April 26th. Scholastic Corp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 40.54%.

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In other news, CEO Richard Robinson sold 98,681 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, April 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.56, for a total transaction of $4,298,544.36. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 4,363,261 shares in the company, valued at $190,063,649.16. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Judith Newman sold 2,008 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.11, for a total value of $84,556.88. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 22,150 shares in the company, valued at approximately $932,736.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 206,353 shares of company stock worth $8,920,156. 24.16% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Scholastic Corp by 47,605.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,344,642 shares of the company’s stock valued at $142,381,000 after buying an additional 3,337,631 shares during the period. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of Scholastic Corp during the fourth quarter valued at $19,316,000. Acadian Asset Management LLC raised its position in shares of Scholastic Corp by 91.6% in the first quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 366,442 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,597,000 after buying an additional 175,225 shares during the period. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC purchased a new position in shares of Scholastic Corp during the first quarter valued at $4,240,000. Finally, State Street Corp raised its position in shares of Scholastic Corp by 15.6% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 654,891 shares of the company’s stock valued at $31,102,000 after buying an additional 88,492 shares during the period. 80.34% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Scholastic Corp

Scholastic Corporation is a publisher and distributor of children’s books, a provider of print and digital instructional materials for pre-kindergarten (pre-K) to grade 12, and a producer of educational and entertaining children’s media. The Company operates through three segments: Children’s Book Publishing and Distribution, Education and International.

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