SLM Co. (NASDAQ:SLM) Receives Average “Buy” Rating from Analysts

SLM Co. (NASDAQ: SLM – Get a rating) received an average “Buy” recommendation from the ten analysts who cover the company, reports Marketbeat Ratings. One equity research analyst rated the stock with a hold rating, five gave the company a buy rating, and one issued a strong buy rating on the company. The average 1-year price target among brokerages that have covered the stock over the past year is $23.50.

A number of brokerages have commented on SLM. Jefferies Financial Group reissued a “buy” rating and published a price target of $24.00 on SLM shares in a research report on Thursday, December 30. Barclays raised its price target on SLM shares from $25.00 to $27.00 in a Monday, January 10 research report. Finally, Wedbush reissued an “outperform” rating on SLM shares in a research report on Monday, January 31.

Shares of SLM opened at $17.18 on Friday. SLM has a fifty-two week low of $16.26 and a fifty-two week high of $21.40. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $19.18 and its 200-day moving average price is $18.58. The company has a market capitalization of $4.80 billion, a P/E ratio of 4.95 and a beta of 1.25. The company has a quick ratio of 1.27, a current ratio of 1.27 and a debt ratio of 3.12.

SLM (NASDAQ:SLM – Get a rating) last announced its results on Wednesday, January 26. The credit service provider reported earnings per share of $1.05 for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.04. SLM had a net margin of 48.17% and a return on equity of 57.49%. The company posted revenue of $367.35 million for the quarter, versus a consensus estimate of $357.32 million. During the same period of the previous year, the company achieved EPS of $1.15. Research analysts expect SLM to post earnings per share of 2.94 for the current year.

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SLM said its board launched a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, Jan. 26 that allows the company to repurchase $1.25 billion in stock. This repurchase authorization authorizes the credit service provider to repurchase up to 24.9% of its shares through purchases on the open market. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 15. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 4 will receive a dividend of $0.11. This represents an annualized dividend of $0.44 and a dividend yield of 2.56%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 3. SLM’s payout ratio is 12.68%.

Separately, Chief Financial Officer Steven Mcgarry sold 15,016 shares of the company in a transaction on Monday, February 28. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.75, for a total value of $296,566.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, available at this hyperlink. Additionally, SVP Jonathan Boyles sold 6,140 shares in a trade on Friday, March 4. The stock was sold at an average price of $17.43, for a total transaction of $107,020.20. Disclosure of this sale can be found here. Over the past 90 days, insiders have sold 43,990 shares of the company valued at $857,754. Insiders of the company hold 0.51% of the shares of the company.

Large investors have recently changed their stock holdings. Counterpoint Mutual Funds LLC acquired a new stake in SLM during Q4 for $28,000. First Quadrant LP CA acquired a new stake in SLM during Q3 for $32,000. Quent Capital LLC acquired a new stake in SLM during Q4 for $41,000. Whittier Trust Co. increased its stake in SLM by 600.0% during the fourth quarter. Whittier Trust Co. now owns 2,625 shares of the credit service provider worth $52,000 after purchasing an additional 2,250 shares during the period. Finally, Monolith Advisors acquired a new stake in SLM during the 4th quarter at a value of $161,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors hold 96.46% of the company’s shares.

SLM Company Profile (Get a rating)

SLM Corp. engages in the provision and administration of student loans. Its services include private education loans, banking, college savings and insurance services. The company was founded in 1972 and is based in Newark, DE.

See also

Analyst Recommendations for SLM (NASDAQ: SLM)

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