Navient Corp. (NASDAQ:NAVI) shares saw unusually-strong trading volume on Wednesday after the company announced better than expected quarterly earnings. Approximately 3,604,500 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 10% from the previous session’s volume of 3,278,606 shares.The stock last traded at $13.44 and had previously closed at $13.61.
The company reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.02. Navient Corp. had a net margin of 16.75% and a return on equity of 16.77%. The company earned $405 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $391.75 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.47 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 12.0% compared to the same quarter last year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 16th. Investors of record on Friday, December 2nd will be issued a dividend of $0.16 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 30th. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.70%. Navient Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 27.47%.
A number of equities research analysts recently commented on NAVI shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Navient Corp. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 20th. BMO Capital Markets set a $17.00 price target on shares of Navient Corp. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 21st. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lowered shares of Navient Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $15.00 price target for the company. in a report on Wednesday, July 20th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $15.57.
In other news, Director William M. Diefenderfer III sold 16,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $14.20, for a total value of $231,460.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 88,737 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,260,065.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Bates Ann Torre sold 9,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $14.23, for a total transaction of $128,070.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.05% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Kingstown Capital Management L.P. increased its stake in Navient Corp. by 14.3% in the first quarter. Kingstown Capital Management L.P. now owns 4,000,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $47,880,000 after buying an additional 500,000 shares in the last quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Navient Corp. by 11.3% in the second quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 2,030,457 shares of the company’s stock worth $24,264,000 after buying an additional 205,635 shares in the last quarter. Mount Lucas Management LP acquired a new stake in Navient Corp. during the first quarter worth $11,937,000. Fox Run Management L.L.C. acquired a new stake in Navient Corp. during the second quarter worth $172,000. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc increased its stake in Navient Corp. by 11.2% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 1,817,596 shares of the company’s stock worth $21,757,000 after buying an additional 182,611 shares in the last quarter. 95.19% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
The firm has a market cap of $4.26 billion, a PE ratio of 5.70 and a beta of 2.31. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $14.16 and a 200-day moving average price of $13.41.
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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