SLM Corporation (NASDAQ: SLM) and Springleaf Holdings (NASDAQ:LEAF) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, risk, institutional ownership, dividends, profitabiliy, earnings and valuation.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for SLM Corporation and Springleaf Holdings, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
SLM Corporation 1 1 5 1 2.75
Springleaf Holdings 0 0 2 0 3.00

SLM Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $12.44, indicating a potential upside of 14.32%. Springleaf Holdings has a consensus price target of $13.00, indicating a potential downside of 73.29%. Given SLM Corporation’s higher probable upside, equities analysts clearly believe SLM Corporation is more favorable than Springleaf Holdings.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

99.0% of SLM Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.6% of SLM Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares SLM Corporation and Springleaf Holdings’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
SLM Corporation $891.46 million 5.27 $267.56 million $0.62 17.55
Springleaf Holdings N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

SLM Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Springleaf Holdings.

Profitability

This table compares SLM Corporation and Springleaf Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
SLM Corporation 22.81% 16.31% 1.58%
Springleaf Holdings N/A N/A N/A

Summary

SLM Corporation beats Springleaf Holdings on 9 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

SLM Corporation 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.

Springleaf Holdings Company Profile

Springleaf Holdings, Inc. (SHI) is a consumer financial services holding company. The Company provides responsible loan products to customers through its branch network and through its centralized operations. The Company operates its business through three segments: Consumer and Insurance; Acquisitions and Servicing, and Real Estate. The Company originates and services secured and unsecured personal loans and offer voluntary credit insurance and related products through its branch network and its centralized operations. The Company pursues strategic acquisitions of loan portfolios through its Springleaf Acquisitions division. Springleaf Finance, Inc. (SFI) is the wholly owned subsidiary of the Company. SFI’s subsidiary is Springleaf Finance Corporation (SFC), a financial services holding company with subsidiaries engaged in the consumer finance and credit insurance businesses.

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