Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of SLM Corp. (NASDAQ:SLM) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Tuesday morning. They currently have $11.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Sallie Mae shares have significantly outperformed the Zacks categorized Consumer Loan industry year to date. Sallie Mae, which started operating independently following the separation of SLM Corporation in Apr 2014, remains focused on its several goals, including enhancing private education loan assets and revenues. For 2016, the company projects core earnings per share of $0.52, and private education loan originations of $4.6 billion. We believe that the economic recovery and declining unemployment rate should help Sallie Mae to maintain its leading position in the student lending market. Nevertheless, we remain cautious due to a competitive business environment and a stringent regulatory landscape.”

SLM has been the topic of several other research reports. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded shares of SLM Corp. from a buy rating to a conviction-buy rating in a research report on Thursday, August 11th. TheStreet lowered shares of SLM Corp. from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 6th. Finally, Barclays PLC reiterated a buy rating and set a $12.00 price target on shares of SLM Corp. in a research report on Monday, November 21st. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. SLM Corp. currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $9.64.

Analyst Recommendations for SLM Corp. (NASDAQ:SLM)

Shares of SLM Corp. (NASDAQ:SLM) opened at 9.75 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $4.18 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.81 and a beta of 1.11. SLM Corp. has a 12-month low of $5.09 and a 12-month high of $9.83. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $7.98 and its 200-day moving average is $7.21.

SLM Corp. (NASDAQ:SLM) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 19th. The company reported $0.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.12. SLM Corp. had a net margin of 23.86% and a return on equity of 16.80%. The firm had revenue of $223 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $931.19 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.09 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 27.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that SLM Corp. will post $0.52 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other SLM Corp. news, Director Earl A. Goode purchased 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 3rd. The stock was purchased at an average price of $7.03 per share, with a total value of $70,300.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 73,084 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $513,780.52. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 0.98% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in SLM. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in shares of SLM Corp. by 11.6% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 44,688,632 shares of the company’s stock worth $276,176,000 after buying an additional 4,659,355 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners increased its position in shares of SLM Corp. by 5.0% in the third quarter. Boston Partners now owns 23,037,299 shares of the company’s stock worth $172,089,000 after buying an additional 1,086,962 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of SLM Corp. by 2.8% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 21,720,168 shares of the company’s stock worth $134,231,000 after buying an additional 595,368 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its position in shares of SLM Corp. by 4.9% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 16,003,993 shares of the company’s stock worth $119,550,000 after buying an additional 744,508 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of SLM Corp. by 1.2% in the third quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 15,862,109 shares of the company’s stock worth $118,490,000 after buying an additional 188,440 shares in the last quarter. 98.99% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About SLM Corp.

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.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:SLM

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