School Specialty (SCOO) & W W Grainger (GWW) Critical Review

School Specialty (OTCMKTS:SCOO) and W W Grainger (NYSE:GWW) are both consumer discretionary companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, profitability, institutional ownership, risk, dividends, valuation and earnings.

Volatility & Risk

School Specialty has a beta of 1.38, meaning that its share price is 38% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, W W Grainger has a beta of 1.06, meaning that its share price is 6% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares School Specialty and W W Grainger’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
School Specialty $658.38 million 0.11 $6.77 million N/A N/A
W W Grainger $10.42 billion 1.63 $585.73 million $11.46 26.40

W W Grainger has higher revenue and earnings than School Specialty.


W W Grainger pays an annual dividend of $5.44 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. School Specialty does not pay a dividend. W W Grainger pays out 47.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. W W Grainger has raised its dividend for 46 consecutive years.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for School Specialty and W W Grainger, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
School Specialty 0 0 0 0 N/A
W W Grainger 2 14 1 0 1.94

W W Grainger has a consensus price target of $307.00, indicating a potential upside of 1.48%. Given W W Grainger’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe W W Grainger is more favorable than School Specialty.


This table compares School Specialty and W W Grainger’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
School Specialty -1.61% -11.22% -3.10%
W W Grainger 6.51% 45.22% 15.18%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

5.3% of School Specialty shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 76.0% of W W Grainger shares are owned by institutional investors. 26.8% of School Specialty shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 10.1% of W W Grainger shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


W W Grainger beats School Specialty on 11 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

School Specialty Company Profile

School Specialty, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, distributes supplies, furniture, technology products, supplemental learning products, and curriculum solutions to the education marketplace in the United States and Canada. The company's Distribution segment offers office products, classroom supplies, janitorial and sanitation supplies, school equipment, planning and development products, physical education products, art supplies and paper, and others; supplemental learning materials, teaching resources, special needs and education products, early childhood offerings, classroom technology, planning and student development, and school health and furniture; and project management and design services for school refurbishment and new construction projects. This segment provides its products primarily under the Childcraft, Sax Arts & Crafts, Califone, Premier Agendas, Classroom Select, Sportime, Abilitations, Hammond & Stephens, SPARK, Brodhead Garrett, School Smart, Royal Seating, and Projects by Design brands. Its Curriculum segment develops standards-based curriculum products, supplemental and intervention curriculum materials, instructional programs, and student assessment tools in the areas of science, math, and reading and math intervention, as well as comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, and grammar. This segment sells its products to teachers, curriculum specialists, and other educators under various product lines, such as Delta Education, FOSS, CPO Science, Frey Scientific, Educator's Publishing Service, Academy of Reading, Academy of Math, Wordly Wise 3000, Explode the Code, ThinkMath!, Making Connections, and S.P.I.R.E. The company offers its products through its sales force, catalogs, and its proprietary e-commerce Websites. School Specialty, Inc. was founded in 1959 and is headquartered in Greenville, Wisconsin.

W W Grainger Company Profile

W.W. Grainger, Inc. distributes maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) supplies; and other related products and services that are used by businesses and institutions in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. The company offers material handling equipment, safety and security supplies, lighting and electrical products, power and hand tools, pumps and plumbing supplies, cleaning and maintenance supplies, metalworking tools, and various other products. It also offers inventory management solutions; and distributes fasteners, gloves, ladders, motors, and janitorial supplies. The company serves small and mid-sized businesses, large corporations, government entities, and other institutions. It offers its products through various branches, sales and service representatives, contact centers, distribution centers, and catalogs, as well as through Websites. W.W. Grainger, Inc. was founded in 1927 and is based in Lake Forest, Illinois.

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