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.”

Several other analysts also recently commented on the company. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Navient Corp. in a research note on Wednesday, June 8th. BMO Capital Markets set a $17.00 price objective on Navient Corp. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 21st. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. downgraded Navient Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $15.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, July 20th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Navient Corp. 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 0.94% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $13.90. The company had a trading volume of 1,094,494 shares. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $14.14 and its 200 day moving average price is $13.07. Navient Corp. has a 12 month low of $8.20 and a 12 month high of $14.82. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.41 billion, a P/E ratio of 5.90 and a beta of 2.32.

Navient Corp. (NASDAQ:NAVI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 19th. The company reported $0.47 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.03. Navient Corp. had a return on equity of 16.77% and a net margin of 16.75%. Equities analysts predict that Navient Corp. will post $1.87 EPS for the current year.

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

In related 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 legal filing with the SEC, which is available at 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.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Gargoyle Investment Advisor L.L.C. boosted its stake in Navient Corp. by 50.1% in the fourth quarter. Gargoyle Investment Advisor L.L.C. now owns 102,566 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,174,000 after buying an additional 34,239 shares in the last quarter. Capstone Asset Management Company boosted its stake in Navient Corp. by 95.1% in the fourth quarter. Capstone Asset Management Company now owns 92,484 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,059,000 after buying an additional 45,070 shares in the last quarter. Prescott Group Capital Management L.L.C. boosted its stake in Navient Corp. by 129.4% in the fourth quarter. Prescott Group Capital Management L.L.C. now owns 149,376 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,710,000 after buying an additional 84,257 shares in the last quarter. North Star Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in Navient Corp. by 75.0% in the fourth quarter. North Star Asset Management Inc. now owns 347,297 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,977,000 after buying an additional 148,860 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Quantitative Systematic Strategies purchased a new stake in Navient Corp. during the fourth quarter worth $1,089,000. 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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