Can Wiley Earnings Bounce Back?

John Wiley & Sons (NYSE: JW-A  ) (NYSE: JW-B  ) will release its quarterly report on Monday and, after a long skid for the book publisher, investors are starting to recognize the potential for a turnaround. Nevertheless, John Wiley earnings are likely to see declines from year-ago levels as the company takes further steps to restore its past success.

Wiley has several segments that it serves, ranging from its research business that focuses on publishing journals, lab manuals, and other reference works in areas ranging from science and engineering, to humanities. It also has a division dedicated to professional development materials, including training services and subscription-based products. Finally, Wiley's educational segment provides content to students and faculty, with extensive distribution online. Let's take an early look at what's been happening with John Wiley over the past quarter, and what we're likely to see in its report.

Stats on John Wiley

Analyst EPS Estimate

$0.46

Change From Year-Ago EPS

(11.5%)

Revenue Estimate

$408.64 million

Change From Year-Ago Revenue

(0.5%)

Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters

1

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Can John Wiley earnings start to grow again?
In recent months, analysts have gotten much less enthusiastic about the prospects for John Wiley earnings, cutting $0.10 per share from July quarter projections, and more than double that from their full-year fiscal 2014 estimates. The stock has managed to advance steadily despite those concerns, though, with gains of 13% since early June.

Wiley is a relatively small player in the industry, with much larger rivals commanding a bigger share of overall industry revenue, and also posting bigger share-price gains in recent years. Pearson (NYSE: PSO  ) is the company behind the Financial Times, and also has an extensive educational publishing division, and it made a big bet on the future of the Nook e-reader by investing $89.5 million earlier this year in the Nook Media division of Barnes & Noble. Meanwhile, Thomson Reuters (NYSE: TRI  ) has specialized more in the investment-research and news field, although it also publishes compliance and continuing-education materials for specialized areas in the financial and legal industries. Both Thomson and Pearson are big enough that they could potentially buy Wiley out without too big an adjustment.

One potential catalyst for industry consolidation could be the recent purchase of the Washington Post (NYSE: GHC  ) by Jeff Bezos. With Bezos potentially bulking up on the company's Kaplan educational subsidiary, Wiley could well get interest from other players in the industry seeking to take Washington Post on. In addition to Pearson, privately held Reed Elsevier might want to diversify its legal, business, and scientific research materials specialties by adding Wiley's different segments to its mix.

Already, Wiley has made a number of strategic moves to streamline its business. In the past year, Wiley has acquired several education-related businesses, while selling off several book collections, including its well-known CliffsNotes series, and the Webster's New World Dictionary.

In the Wiley earnings report, watch to see whether the company comments on the Bezos acquisition of the Washington Post. In a rapidly evolving world of information, it's more important than ever for Wiley to keep up with its larger competitors if it wants to remain a relevant player in the industry.

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