SLM (NASDAQ:SLM) Upgraded to “Hold” by Zacks Investment Research

SLM (NASDAQ:SLM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, September 11th.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Sallie Mae have outperformed the industry over the past three months. Yet, the company doesn’t have an impressive earnings surprise history, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in two of the trailing four quarters. Persistent increase in expenses remains a major near-term concern for the company. Further, as it intends to increase investments in technology, operating costs are expected to be elevated in the upcoming quarters. Also, Sallie Mae faces concentration risks due to over dependence on brokered deposits. However, the company’s focus on strengthening its Private Education Loan assets, improving economic and declining unemployment rate bode well for the long term.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Wedbush decreased their target price on SLM from $14.50 to $14.25 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, May 30th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $14.00 target price on SLM and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 6th. Stephens started coverage on SLM in a research report on Monday, July 9th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $15.00 target price on the stock. ValuEngine downgraded SLM from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 25th. Finally, Oppenheimer set a $16.00 target price on SLM and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 25th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. SLM has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $14.52.

NASDAQ SLM traded down $0.16 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $10.87. 2,818,928 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,145,471. The company has a market cap of $4.85 billion, a PE ratio of 15.31, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.56 and a beta of 1.18. The company has a quick ratio of 1.41, a current ratio of 1.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.81. SLM has a fifty-two week low of $9.65 and a fifty-two week high of $12.46.

SLM (NASDAQ:SLM) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 24th. The credit services provider reported $0.25 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.23 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $340.95 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $333.28 million. SLM had a return on equity of 18.48% and a net margin of 21.69%. The business’s revenue was up 26.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.16 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts anticipate that SLM will post 1.01 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, EVP Paul F. Thome sold 22,104 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $11.13, for a total value of $246,017.52. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 183,383 shares in the company, valued at $2,041,052.79. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Insiders own 0.36% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. ValueAct Holdings L.P. lifted its stake in SLM by 408.2% during the second quarter. ValueAct Holdings L.P. now owns 37,605,408 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $430,582,000 after purchasing an additional 30,205,408 shares during the last quarter. CI Investments Inc. lifted its stake in SLM by 13,086.3% during the first quarter. CI Investments Inc. now owns 5,274,500 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $59,127,000 after purchasing an additional 5,234,500 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC lifted its stake in SLM by 14.3% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 28,205,593 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $322,954,000 after purchasing an additional 3,522,468 shares during the last quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC bought a new stake in SLM during the second quarter worth $39,040,000. Finally, State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D bought a new stake in SLM during the first quarter worth $20,178,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 99.73% of the company’s stock.

SLM Company Profile

SLM Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a saving, planning, and paying for college company in the United States. The company originates and services private education loans to students and their families. Its loan portfolio also includes federal family education loan program, personal, and other loans.

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