SLM Corp. (NASDAQ:SLM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. The firm currently has a $11.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 9.24% from the stock’s current price.

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.”

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on SLM. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised shares of SLM Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating in a research note 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 reaffirmed 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, six have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. SLM Corp. currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $9.59.

Analyst Recommendations for SLM Corp. (NASDAQ:SLM)

SLM Corp. (NASDAQ:SLM) opened at 10.07 on Tuesday. SLM Corp. has a 52 week low of $5.09 and a 52 week high of $9.83. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $7.98 and a 200 day moving average price of $7.21. The company has a market cap of $4.31 billion, a PE ratio of 17.36 and a beta of 1.11.

SLM Corp. (NASDAQ:SLM) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 19th. The company reported $0.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.12. SLM Corp. had a return on equity of 16.80% and a net margin of 23.86%. The company had revenue of $223 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $931.19 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.09 EPS. SLM Corp.’s revenue was up 27.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that SLM Corp. will post $0.52 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, Director Marianne M. Keler bought 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 28th. The shares were bought at an average price of $7.12 per share, with a total value of $71,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 59,901 shares in the company, valued at $426,495.12. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.98% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in 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 valued at $276,176,000 after buying an additional 4,659,355 shares during the period. Boston Partners increased its position in SLM Corp. by 5.0% in the third quarter. Boston Partners now owns 23,037,299 shares of the company’s stock valued at $172,089,000 after buying an additional 1,086,962 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in SLM Corp. by 2.8% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 21,720,168 shares of the company’s stock valued at $134,231,000 after buying an additional 595,368 shares during the period. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its position in SLM Corp. by 4.9% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 16,003,993 shares of the company’s stock valued at $119,550,000 after buying an additional 744,508 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Advisors LLC increased its position in SLM Corp. by 1.2% in the third quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 15,862,109 shares of the company’s stock valued at $118,490,000 after buying an additional 188,440 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 98.99% of the company’s stock.

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.

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