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

Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on SLM. FBR & Co set a $13.00 target price on shares of SLM and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 19th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $12.00 target price on shares of SLM in a report on Friday, October 6th. BidaskClub raised shares of SLM from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Wedbush reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $14.50 target price on shares of SLM in a report on Thursday, September 14th. Finally, Citigroup initiated coverage on shares of SLM in a report on Monday, October 16th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $16.00 target price on the stock. Three 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’s stock. SLM currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $13.44.

Shares of SLM (SLM) traded down $0.45 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $11.16. 3,134,300 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,152,010. SLM has a 12-month low of $9.65 and a 12-month high of $13.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.35, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.33. The firm has a market cap of $5,014.24, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.83 and a beta of 1.33.

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

In other news, SVP Jonathan Boyles sold 2,776 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $11.65, for a total value of $32,340.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 173,728 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,023,931.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Raymond J. Quinlan sold 200,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $11.52, for a total transaction of $2,304,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,080,133 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,443,132.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.59% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC purchased a new stake in SLM in the third quarter valued at approximately $115,000. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. purchased a new stake in SLM in the third quarter valued at approximately $666,000. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board purchased a new stake in SLM in the third quarter valued at approximately $1,248,000. SG Americas Securities LLC grew its holdings in SLM by 7.9% in the second quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 135,569 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $1,559,000 after purchasing an additional 9,887 shares during the period. Finally, Dorsey Wright & Associates grew its holdings in SLM by 1.2% in the second quarter. Dorsey Wright & Associates now owns 185,539 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $2,134,000 after purchasing an additional 2,245 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 99.26% of the company’s stock.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for SLM (NASDAQ:SLM)

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