The Publishers Weekly Stock Index rose 12.8% in the first six months of 2013, just slightly below the 13.8% increase posted by the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the January-to-June period. The stock prices of nine companies rose in the six months, while prices fell at four.

The biggest winners were surprises in an industry undergoing a digital transition—a retailer and two printing companies. Hastings Entertainment had the biggest gain, at 87.3%, even as the company posted mixed results since January. Donnelley and Courier Corp. had the second- and third-largest gains as both printers continued to revamp their businesses. As it did for a number of months so far this year, Amazon posted the largest increase in terms of dollars, adding almost $27 to its stock price in the six-month period; the e-tailer continued to rack up large increases in revenue even as its profits remained slim. Without a doubt, Barnes & Noble’s stock price was the most volatile in the January-to-June period. Even after its stock price fell 17% following release of weak fourth-quarter results in late June, B&N’s shares still were up 5.8% in the year to date. The country’s second largest bookstore chain, Books-A-Million, saw its stock price fall by one cent in the period. The biggest loser in the period was Educational Development Corp., whose stock price dropped 17.8%. The company posted a 43% drop in earnings for the fiscal year ended February 28.

During the period McGraw-Hill Cos. dropped off the PWSI when it sold McGraw-Hill Education to a private equity firm; starting in July the new News Corp., which split off from News Corp. and includes HarperCollins, will be added to the list.

Stock Prices, January-June, 2013

Company Dec. 31, 2012 Jun. 28, 2013 % Change
Hastings Entertainment 2.20 4.12 87.3%
R.R. Donnelley 8.99 14.01 55.8
Courier Corp. 10.66 14.28 33.9
CBS 36.85 48.87 32.6
Walt Disney Co. 49.79 63.13 26.8
Amazon 250.87 277.69 10.7
Reed Elsevier 42.04 45.32 7.8
Barnes & Noble 15.09 15.96 5.8
John Wiley 38.93 40.02 2.8
Books-A-Million 2.66 2.65 -0.03
Scholastic 29.56 29.29 -0.9
Pearson 19.54 17.91 -8.3
Educational Dev. Corp. 3.81 3.13 -17.8
PW Stock Index 510.99 576.40 12.8%
Dow Jones Average 13,104.14 14,909.60 13.8