Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Navient Corp. (NASDAQ:NAVI) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Navient should benefit from its previous acquisitions of asset recovery and business process outsourcing firms. Also, the economic recovery and declining unemployment rate should boost its business prospects. Further, the company’s ability to generate modest cash aids steady capital deployment activities, thereby enhancing shareholders’ confidence. Notably, considering the results through the first half of 2016, management expects core EPS for the year to trend at higher end of its prior guidance of $1.82–$1.87 per share. However, failure to access new loans and alternative sources of revenue may hinder top-line growth. Also, higher operating expenses and costs resulting from increased regulatory oversight and persistent low interest rate environment adds to the woes in the near term.”

Analyst Recommendations for Navient Corp. (NASDAQ:NAVI)

A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on NAVI. Credit Suisse Group AG restated a buy rating on shares of Navient Corp. in a research note on Wednesday, June 8th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lowered Navient Corp. from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $15.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, July 20th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $17.00 price target on Navient Corp. and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, July 21st. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. Navient Corp. has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $15.57.

Shares of Navient Corp. (NASDAQ:NAVI) opened at 13.72 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $4.35 billion, a PE ratio of 5.83 and a beta of 2.32. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $14.13 and its 200-day moving average is $13.09. Navient Corp. has a 1-year low of $8.20 and a 1-year high of $14.82.

Navient Corp. (NASDAQ:NAVI) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 19th. The company reported $0.47 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.03. Navient Corp. had a net margin of 16.75% and a return on equity of 16.77%. On average, equities analysts forecast that Navient Corp. will post $1.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 16th. Investors of record on Friday, September 2nd were given a $0.16 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 31st. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.66%. Navient Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 27.47%.

In other Navient Corp. news, Director Bates Ann Torre sold 9,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $14.23, for a total value of $128,070.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director William M. Diefenderfer III sold 16,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $14.20, for a total value of $231,460.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 88,737 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,260,065.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.05% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans bought a new stake in Navient Corp. during the second quarter valued at approximately $121,000. Balasa Dinverno & Foltz LLC bought a new stake in Navient Corp. during the second quarter valued at approximately $122,000. BB&T Securities LLC bought a new stake in Navient Corp. during the first quarter valued at approximately $124,000. IFP Advisors Inc raised its stake in Navient Corp. by 25.9% in the second quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 10,844 shares of the company’s stock valued at $130,000 after buying an additional 2,232 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Private Advisor Group LLC bought a new stake in Navient Corp. during the second quarter valued at approximately $133,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 95.21% of the company’s stock.

About Navient Corp.

Navient Corporation is a loan management, servicing and asset recovery company. The Company holds the portfolio of education loans insured or guaranteed under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), as well as the portfolio of Private Education Loans. FFELP Loans are insured or guaranteed by state based on guaranty agreements among the United States Department of Education (ED) and these agencies.

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