Navient Corp. (NASDAQ:NAVI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Navient should benefit from its previous acquisitions of asset recovery and business process outsourcing firms. Also, the economic recovery and declining unemployment rate should boost its business prospects. Further, the company’s ability to generate modest cash aids steady capital deployment activities, thereby enhancing shareholders’ confidence. Notably, considering the results through the first half of 2016, management expects core EPS for the year to trend at higher end of its prior guidance of $1.82–$1.87 per share. However, failure to access new loans and alternative sources of revenue may hinder top-line growth. Also, higher operating expenses and costs resulting from increased regulatory oversight and persistent low interest rate environment adds to the woes in the near term.”

Other analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Navient Corp. in a research note on Wednesday, June 8th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lowered shares of Navient Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $15.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, July 20th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $17.00 target price on shares of Navient Corp. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 21st. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Navient Corp. currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $15.57.

Analyst Recommendations for Navient Corp. (NASDAQ:NAVI)

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Shares of Navient Corp. (NASDAQ:NAVI) traded up 0.908% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $13.895. 1,162,724 shares of the company traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.41 billion, a PE ratio of 5.900 and a beta of 2.32. Navient Corp. has a 52 week low of $8.20 and a 52 week high of $14.82. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $14.14 and a 200-day moving average of $13.07.

Navient Corp. (NASDAQ:NAVI) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, July 19th. The company reported $0.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.03. Navient Corp. had a net margin of 16.75% and a return on equity of 16.77%. On average, equities research analysts expect that Navient Corp. will post $1.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 16th. Investors of record on Friday, September 2nd were given a $0.16 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 31st. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.65%. Navient Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 27.47%.

In other Navient Corp. news, Director Bates Ann Torre sold 9,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $14.23, for a total value of $128,070.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director William M. Diefenderfer III sold 16,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $14.20, for a total value of $231,460.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 88,737 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,260,065.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.05% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NAVI. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Navient Corp. during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $48,417,000. Kleinwort Benson Investors Dublin Ltd bought a new stake in Navient Corp. during the second quarter valued at approximately $26,672,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in Navient Corp. by 47.2% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 6,147,505 shares of the company’s stock valued at $73,455,000 after buying an additional 1,971,640 shares in the last quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC raised its stake in Navient Corp. by 1,854.3% in the second quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC now owns 1,310,850 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,665,000 after buying an additional 1,243,775 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mount Lucas Management LP bought a new stake in Navient Corp. during the first quarter valued at approximately $11,937,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 95.32% of the company’s stock.

About Navient Corp.

Navient Corporation is a loan management, servicing and asset recovery company. The Company holds the portfolio of education loans insured or guaranteed under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), as well as the portfolio of Private Education Loans. FFELP Loans are insured or guaranteed by state based on guaranty agreements among the United States Department of Education (ED) and these agencies.

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