Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Navient (NASDAQ:NAVI) from a sell rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Friday morning. They currently have $16.00 target price on the credit services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Navient have underperformed the industry over the past six months. Also, the company does not have an impressive earnings surprise history. It missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in two of the trailing four quarters. Though, Navient might benefit from the ongoing economic recovery and remains focused on leveraging its asset recovery & processing businesses, the company continues to struggle with regulatory claims and litigation burden owing to its practices in handling large number of student loans. Also, its capital deployment activities look unsustainable on the back of unfavourable debt/equity and dividend payout ratios compared with the industry. Further, rising rate environment might lower its income due to re-pricing risks related to loan portfolios.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut Navient from a neutral rating to an underweight rating in a report on Friday. Jefferies Group reissued a hold rating and set a $14.00 price objective on shares of Navient in a report on Thursday. Oppenheimer began coverage on Navient in a report on Monday, January 8th. They set a hold rating for the company. UBS Group began coverage on Navient in a report on Monday, January 8th. They set a market perform rating for the company. Finally, ValuEngine raised Navient from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $17.36.

Navient (NASDAQ NAVI) traded down $0.09 on Friday, reaching $13.88. 3,882,800 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,250,778. Navient has a 1 year low of $11.48 and a 1 year high of $17.05. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 30.58, a current ratio of 33.10 and a quick ratio of 33.10. The firm has a market capitalization of $3,650.61, a P/E ratio of 7.67, a P/E/G ratio of 1.25 and a beta of 2.37.

Navient (NASDAQ:NAVI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 17th. The credit services provider reported $0.55 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.50 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $343.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $361.33 million. Navient had a net margin of 10.88% and a return on equity of 14.09%. The business’s revenue was down 15.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.50 earnings per share. analysts forecast that Navient will post 1.76 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Navient declared that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Wednesday, October 4th that allows the company to repurchase shares. This repurchase authorization allows the credit services provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Navient news, CFO Christian M. Lown purchased 6,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 20th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $12.35 per share, with a total value of $74,100.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Insiders own 1.68% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Navient by 27.5% in the third quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 2,022,265 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $30,375,000 after buying an additional 436,644 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its holdings in Navient by 3.4% during the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 5,888,964 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $88,452,000 after purchasing an additional 192,614 shares during the last quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in Navient by 68.3% during the 3rd quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 38,359 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $577,000 after purchasing an additional 15,570 shares during the last quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. bought a new stake in Navient during the 2nd quarter worth about $360,000. Finally, Trexquant Investment LP bought a new stake in Navient during the 3rd quarter worth about $299,000. 92.44% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Navient

Navient Corporation provides asset management and business processing services to education, healthcare and government clients at the federal, state and local levels. The Company holds the portfolio of education loans insured or federally guaranteed under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

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Analyst Recommendations for Navient (NASDAQ:NAVI)

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