SLM (NASDAQ:SLM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.
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.”
Several other equities analysts also recently commented on the stock. Bank of America lowered their target price on shares of SLM from $14.00 to $13.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, January 26th. BidaskClub raised shares of SLM from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, January 26th. Oppenheimer set a $17.00 target price on shares of SLM and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, January 18th. B. Riley reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $13.00 target price (down previously from $14.00) on shares of SLM in a report on Thursday, January 18th. Finally, Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $16.00 price target on shares of SLM in a research note on Thursday, January 11th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $14.18.
SLM (NASDAQ:SLM) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, January 17th. The credit services provider reported $0.19 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.19. SLM had a net margin of 20.23% and a return on equity of 16.65%. The firm had revenue of $309.19 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $299.64 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.15 earnings per share. equities analysts expect that SLM will post 0.99 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In other news, SVP Jeffrey Dale sold 37,807 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $11.21, for a total value of $423,816.47. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 88,808 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $995,537.68. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CFO Steven Mcgarry sold 13,836 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, January 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $11.62, for a total transaction of $160,774.32. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 366,433 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,257,951.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 274,939 shares of company stock worth $3,112,679. 0.59% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Teacher Retirement System of Texas raised its stake in shares of SLM by 313.4% in the fourth quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 147,005 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $1,661,000 after acquiring an additional 111,443 shares during the period. Penn Capital Management Co. Inc. raised its stake in shares of SLM by 3.7% in the fourth quarter. Penn Capital Management Co. Inc. now owns 495,379 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $5,784,000 after acquiring an additional 17,468 shares during the period. Heritage Investors Management Corp raised its stake in shares of SLM by 3.0% in the fourth quarter. Heritage Investors Management Corp now owns 578,091 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $6,532,000 after acquiring an additional 16,705 shares during the period. Fox Run Management L.L.C. purchased a new stake in shares of SLM in the fourth quarter valued at $650,000. Finally, CI Investments Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of SLM in the fourth quarter valued at $452,000. 99.35% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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SLM Company Profile
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.
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