SLM (NASDAQ:SLM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

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 analysts have also commented on SLM. Wedbush reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $14.50 target price on shares of SLM in a report on Thursday, September 14th. FBR & Co reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $13.00 target price on shares of SLM in a report on Tuesday, September 19th. BidaskClub raised SLM from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, September 28th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $12.00 price objective on shares of SLM in a report on Friday, October 6th. Finally, Citigroup assumed coverage on SLM in a report on Monday, October 16th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $16.00 price objective for the company. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $13.44.

SLM (NASDAQ:SLM) traded down $0.38 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $11.35. The company had a trading volume of 3,583,600 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,145,614. SLM has a one year low of $9.65 and a one year high of $13.20. The company has a current ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 1.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.35. The company has a market cap of $5,066.07, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.00 and a beta of 1.33.

SLM (NASDAQ:SLM) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 18th. The credit services provider reported $0.17 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.17. SLM had a return on equity of 16.63% and a net margin of 22.95%. The company had revenue of $282.06 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $282.02 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.12 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 26.3% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts predict that SLM will post 0.72 earnings per share for the current year.

In other 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 transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 173,728 shares in the company, valued at $2,023,931.20. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Raymond J. Quinlan sold 200,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $11.52, for a total value of $2,304,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,080,133 shares in the company, valued at $12,443,132.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.59% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in SLM. Rhumbline Advisers increased its holdings in shares of SLM by 16.9% in the third quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 909,428 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $10,431,000 after purchasing an additional 131,348 shares during the last quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors increased its holdings in shares of SLM by 9.0% in the second quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 1,442,598 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $16,590,000 after purchasing an additional 119,024 shares during the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board bought a new stake in shares of SLM in the third quarter worth about $1,248,000. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. bought a new stake in shares of SLM in the third quarter worth about $666,000. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC increased its holdings in shares of SLM by 26.0% in the third quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 170,874 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $1,960,000 after purchasing an additional 35,305 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 99.26% of the company’s stock.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY WARNING: “SLM (SLM) Cut to Sell at Zacks Investment Research” was originally posted by American Banking News and is the property of of American Banking News. If you are reading this report on another site, it was stolen and republished in violation of United States & international copyright legislation. The legal version of this report can be viewed at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2017/12/12/slm-slm-cut-to-sell-at-zacks-investment-research.html.

About SLM

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.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on SLM (SLM)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for SLM (NASDAQ:SLM)

Receive News & Ratings for SLM Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for SLM and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.