Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Co (NASDAQ:HMHC) Receives an Outperform from Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer analyst Ian Zaffino maintained an Outperform rating on Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Co (NASDAQ: HMHC) today and set a price target of $33. The company’s shares closed yesterday at $24.19.

Zaffino said, “We update our model for 2Q15 results. We increase 2H15 estimates to reflect a heavier weighting of shipments vs. 1H15. In fact, management suggested 2H15 billings would be meaningfully higher than 1H15, which came in lower than expectations. The company repurchased over 8M shares (~$191M) during 2Q15 and we expect buybacks to continue. With large US states—including Texas and California —expected to exhibit significant growth in education spending and HMHC’s ongoing shift to digital content, our positive thesis remains intact. Our 2015E/2016E Post-Plate EBITDA is unchanged.”

Houghton Mifflin has an analyst consensus of Hold, with a price target consensus of $29.50.

The company has a one year high of $27.14 and a one year low of $17.35. Currently, Houghton Mifflin has an average volume of 1.17M.

Financial bloggers on sites such as investorplace.com, wsobserver.com and others, seem to have a Positive view on HMHC. When evaluating the opinions of financial bloggers over the last 3 months, 50% of bloggers have indicated a Bullish sentiment, while 50% have indicated a Bearish sentiment. The average blogger Bullish sentiment in the sector is 68% which is equal to the blogger sentiment of HMHC.

Unlike Oppenheimer`s latest rating, based on the recent corporate insider activity of 121 insiders, corporate insider sentiment is neutral on the stock. Most recently, in June 2015, Anchorage Capital Group, L.L.C., a a Major Shareholder at HMHC sold 1,327,886 shares for a total of $34,084,637.

According to TipRanks.com, Zaffino is a 4-star analyst with an average return of 6.7%and a 55.6% success rate. Zaffino covers the Services sector, focusing on stocks such as Macquarie Infrastructure Company, Brink’s Company, and Tribune Media.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company provides content, services and technology to both educational institutions and consumers, reaching over 50 million students in more than 150 countries. It also published trade and reference materials.