With a few notable exceptions, the first quarter of 2017 was not a particularly good period for the Publishers Weekly Stock Index. The share prices of seven of the 10 companies listed on the PWSI saw their stock prices fall between Dec. 30, 2016, and Mar. 31, 2017, but the three companies that posted gains were able to offset those losses. Amazon was the big winner, with its share price rising by more than $136, an increase of 18.3%, in the quarter. Investors continued to appear confident that the e-commerce giant will be able to boost its earnings while also posting large revenue gains.
Excluding Amazon, the PWSI declined 4%. Educational Development Corp. and Barnes & Noble had the largest declines in the quarter. (The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 4.6% in the quarter.) The 17% decline in B&N’s share price was due in part to disappointing results for the quarter ended January 31, in which revenue was 8% lower and comparable store sales were 8.3% lower than in the third quarter the year before. B&N CEO Len Riggio said the company continues to look for ways to reverse the sales slide.
EDC’s stock price fell 32.2% in the quarter; the company is still struggling to overcome the failed installation of a new software system that led to shipping delays over the 2016 holidays. Its stock price also took a big hit late in March after an analyst posted an extremely negative report on the company’s prospects. The share price recovered somewhat in early April, helped by EDC’s report that March sales were 31% higher than in March 2016.
Stock Watch, First Quarter 2017
|Company||Dec. 30, 2016||Mar. 31, 2017||Change|
|Houghton Mifflin Harcourt||10.85||10.15||-6.4%|
|Barnes & Noble||11.15||9.25||-17.0%|
|Educational Dev. Corp.||9.95||6.75||-32.2%|
|Publishers Weekly Stock Index||998.90||1,125.36||12.7%|
|Dow Jones Average||19,762.60||20,663.22||4.6%|
A version of this article appeared in the 04/10/2017 issue of Publishers Weekly under the headline: Amazon Is the Big First-Quarter Winner