Navient (NAVI) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Navient (NASDAQ:NAVI) from a sell rating to a buy rating in a report published on Friday morning. They currently have $16.00 target price on the credit services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Navient have underperformed the industry over the past six months. Also, the company does not have an impressive earnings surprise history. It missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in two of the trailing four quarters. Though, Navient might benefit from the ongoing economic recovery and remains focused on leveraging its asset recovery & processing businesses, the company continues to struggle with regulatory claims and litigation burden owing to its practices in handling large number of student loans. Also, its capital deployment activities look unsustainable on the back of unfavourable debt/equity and dividend payout ratios compared with the industry. Further, rising rate environment might lower its income due to re-pricing risks related to loan portfolios.”

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Navient from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Citigroup started coverage on shares of Navient in a research note on Monday, October 16th. They issued a buy rating and a $20.00 price target on the stock. Jefferies Group reiterated a hold rating and issued a $16.00 price target on shares of Navient in a research note on Monday, October 16th. Oppenheimer started coverage on shares of Navient in a research note on Monday, January 8th. They issued a hold rating on the stock. Finally, UBS Group started coverage on shares of Navient in a research note on Monday, January 8th. They issued a market perform rating on the stock. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $17.36.

Shares of Navient (NASDAQ:NAVI) traded down $0.09 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $13.88. 3,880,000 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,004,588. The company has a quick ratio of 33.10, a current ratio of 33.10 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 30.58. Navient has a 12-month low of $11.48 and a 12-month high of $17.05. The firm has a market cap of $3,674.28, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.67, a P/E/G ratio of 1.26 and a beta of 2.37.

Navient (NASDAQ:NAVI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 17th. The credit services provider reported $0.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.50 by $0.05. Navient had a net margin of 10.88% and a return on equity of 14.09%. The firm had revenue of $343.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $361.33 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.50 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 15.3% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts expect that Navient will post 1.76 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Navient declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, October 4th that permits the company to repurchase shares. This repurchase authorization permits the credit services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 1st were given a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.61%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, November 30th. Navient’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 35.36%.

In other news, CFO Christian M. Lown acquired 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 20th. The stock was bought at an average price of $12.35 per share, with a total value of $74,100.00. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Company insiders own 1.68% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its position in shares of Navient by 27.5% in the 3rd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 2,022,265 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $30,375,000 after acquiring an additional 436,644 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Navient by 3.4% during the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 5,888,964 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $88,452,000 after buying an additional 192,614 shares during the period. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Navient by 68.3% during the 3rd quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 38,359 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $577,000 after buying an additional 15,570 shares during the period. Nomura Holdings Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Navient during the 2nd quarter worth about $360,000. Finally, BB&T Securities LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Navient by 25.9% during the 3rd quarter. BB&T Securities LLC now owns 117,196 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $1,760,000 after buying an additional 24,130 shares during the period. 92.67% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Navient

Navient Corporation provides asset management and business processing services to education, healthcare and government clients at the federal, state and local levels. The Company holds the portfolio of education loans insured or federally guaranteed under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

Analyst Recommendations for Navient (NASDAQ:NAVI)

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