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Strong Digital Presence Supports Wiley's Growth Prospects

Education weakness grabs the headlines now, but the long term looks brighter.


 John Wiley's (JW.A) research business unit generates more than three fourths of overall operating profit. The business benefits from high renewal rates, limited competition, and strong profitability. Wiley sells must-have journal content, mostly to academic institutions. While it's hard to pin down the exact size of the global academic journal industry, the company pegs its market share at around 10%, with the top five publishers accounting for about half of the market.

Wiley's key publishing areas in its research segment include physical sciences, health sciences, humanities, and life sciences. The firm is consistently at or near the top of its peers in the Thomson ISI Journal Citation Report, a leading evaluator of journal influence that measures the frequency that peer-reviewed journals are cited by researchers in other journals. Authors and researchers want to be associated with the leading journal in their specialized field, so there isn't much appeal for competitors to start rival publications. The firm's journal portfolio includes titles owned by Wiley, titles owned jointly with a professional society, and titles owned by societies that are published by Wiley under long-term contracts averaging seven years.

R.J. Hottovy does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.

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