SLM (NASDAQ:SLM) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of SLM (NASDAQ:SLM) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday, December 20th.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Sallie Mae have underperformed the industry over the past six months. Also, the company doesn’t have an impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in one of the trailing four quarters. A competitive business environment and consistently increasing expenses remain near-term concerns. Further, Sallie Mae faces concentration risks due to over dependence on brokered deposits. However, the company’s focus on strengthening its Private Education Loan assets and revenues along with maintaining a strong capital position bode well for the long term. Also, the economic recovery and declining unemployment rate should help it maintain a leading position in the student lending market. Nevertheless, stretched valuation indicates limited upside potential in the stock.”

A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on SLM. Wedbush reiterated an outperform rating and set a $14.50 price target on shares of SLM in a report on Thursday, September 14th. FBR & Co reiterated a buy rating and set a $13.00 price target on shares of SLM in a report on Tuesday, September 19th. BidaskClub upgraded SLM from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Thursday, September 28th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a hold rating and set a $12.00 price target on shares of SLM in a report on Friday, October 6th. Finally, Citigroup initiated coverage on SLM in a report on Monday, October 16th. They set a buy rating and a $16.00 price target on the stock. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. SLM presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $14.44.

Shares of SLM (NASDAQ:SLM) traded down $0.23 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $11.71. The company had a trading volume of 3,930,014 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,908,967. The company has a quick ratio of 1.33, a current ratio of 1.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.35. The firm has a market cap of $5,156.76, a PE ratio of 17.48, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.57 and a beta of 1.33. SLM has a twelve month low of $9.65 and a twelve month high of $13.20.

SLM (NASDAQ:SLM) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, October 18th. The credit services provider reported $0.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.17. The business had revenue of $282.06 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $282.02 million. SLM had a return on equity of 16.63% and a net margin of 22.95%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 26.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.12 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that SLM will post 0.72 EPS for the current year.

In other SLM news, SVP Jonathan Boyles sold 2,776 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $11.65, for a total value of $32,340.40. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 173,728 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,023,931.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Raymond J. Quinlan sold 200,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $11.52, for a total value of $2,304,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,080,133 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,443,132.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.59% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC acquired a new stake in shares of SLM in the third quarter worth about $115,000. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of SLM in the third quarter worth about $666,000. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board acquired a new stake in shares of SLM in the third quarter worth about $1,248,000. SG Americas Securities LLC lifted its position in shares of SLM by 7.9% in the second quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 135,569 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $1,559,000 after buying an additional 9,887 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dorsey Wright & Associates lifted its position in shares of SLM by 1.2% in the second quarter. Dorsey Wright & Associates now owns 185,539 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $2,134,000 after buying an additional 2,245 shares during the last quarter. 99.24% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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SLM Company Profile

SLM Corporation (Sallie Mae) is the nation’s saving, planning, and paying for college company. Sallie Mae offers products, which promote personal finance including private education loans, Upromise rewards, scholarship search, college financial planning tools, insurance, and online retail banking.

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