Navient (NAVI) Upgraded to Buy by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Navient (NASDAQ:NAVI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday. The brokerage currently has $15.00 price target on the credit services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Navient have outperformed the industry over the past six months. Also, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the trailing four quarters. The company remains well poised to benefit from the ongoing economic recovery and remains focused on leveraging its asset recovery & processing businesses. Though, Navient continues to struggle with regulatory claims and litigation burden owing to its practices in handling large number of student loans. its inorganic growth strategies of diversifying product offerings and boosting overall business encourage us.”

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A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on the company. JPMorgan Chase lowered Navient from a neutral rating to an underweight rating in a research report on Friday, January 12th. Oppenheimer started coverage on Navient in a research report on Monday, January 8th. They set a hold rating on the stock. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $14.00 target price on shares of Navient in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. ValuEngine lowered Navient from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, BidaskClub raised Navient from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research report on Friday, March 9th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $17.55.

Shares of NASDAQ:NAVI traded down $0.22 during trading on Friday, reaching $13.44. 2,535,347 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,599,609. The company has a quick ratio of 22.35, a current ratio of 22.35 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 30.13. Navient has a 1-year low of $11.48 and a 1-year high of $16.97. The firm has a market capitalization of $3,597.89, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.51, a PEG ratio of 1.19 and a beta of 2.20.

Navient (NASDAQ:NAVI) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, January 23rd. The credit services provider reported $0.43 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.42 by $0.01. Navient had a return on equity of 13.90% and a net margin of 5.94%. The company had revenue of $366.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $362.33 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.43 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that Navient will post 1.91 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 15th. Investors of record on Friday, June 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.16 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 31st. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.76%. Navient’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 35.75%.

In related news, SVP Stephen M. Hauber sold 17,423 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, January 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $14.40, for a total transaction of $250,891.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 1.68% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Advisors Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings in Navient by 84.0% during the third quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 10,168 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $153,000 after buying an additional 4,642 shares in the last quarter. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in Navient during the fourth quarter worth $141,000. Gotham Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in Navient during the fourth quarter worth $154,000. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. bought a new stake in Navient during the fourth quarter worth $148,000. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in Navient during the fourth quarter worth $155,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 97.87% of the company’s stock.

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About Navient

Navient Corporation provides asset management and business processing services to education, health care, and government clients at the federal, state, and local levels in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) Loans, Private Education Loans, and Business Services.

Analyst Recommendations for Navient (NASDAQ:NAVI)

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