Investors Buy Large Volume of SLM Put Options (NASDAQ:SLM)

SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Traders bought 1,497 put options on the company. This is an increase of 2,672% compared to the typical daily volume of 54 put options.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on SLM. ValuEngine lowered shares of SLM from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 18th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of SLM from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 9th. BidaskClub lowered shares of SLM from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 13th. BMO Capital Markets upgraded shares of SLM from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, January 25th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of SLM from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Monday, January 28th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $13.00.

Shares of SLM stock traded up $0.09 during trading on Friday, hitting $10.32. 2,605,300 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,340,263. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.46 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.64, a P/E/G ratio of 0.42 and a beta of 1.47. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.69, a quick ratio of 1.38 and a current ratio of 1.38. SLM has a 12 month low of $7.95 and a 12 month high of $12.16.

SLM (NASDAQ:SLM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 17th. The credit services provider reported $0.34 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.30 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $402.28 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $384.70 million. SLM had a net margin of 25.77% and a return on equity of 20.28%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 20.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.28 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that SLM will post 1.26 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 17th. Investors of record on Friday, June 7th will be issued a $0.03 dividend. This represents a $0.12 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.16%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 6th. SLM’s payout ratio is currently 11.21%.

In related news, EVP Paul F. Thome sold 25,000 shares of SLM stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $11.10, for a total value of $277,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 208,049 shares in the company, valued at $2,309,343.90. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP Jonathan Boyles sold 68,000 shares of SLM stock in a transaction on Friday, March 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $11.20, for a total transaction of $761,600.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 67,679 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $758,004.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 93,805 shares of company stock worth $1,047,625. Corporate insiders own 0.36% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. lifted its holdings in SLM by 5.8% in the first quarter. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. now owns 19,230 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $191,000 after purchasing an additional 1,048 shares during the period. Kendall Capital Management lifted its holdings in SLM by 1.8% in the 1st quarter. Kendall Capital Management now owns 62,210 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $617,000 after acquiring an additional 1,110 shares during the last quarter. Huntington National Bank lifted its holdings in SLM by 69.2% in the 1st quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 2,890 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $29,000 after acquiring an additional 1,182 shares during the last quarter. First Hawaiian Bank lifted its holdings in SLM by 1.8% in the 1st quarter. First Hawaiian Bank now owns 69,000 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $684,000 after acquiring an additional 1,200 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Louisiana State Employees Retirement System lifted its holdings in SLM by 1.2% in the 1st quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 117,000 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $1,159,000 after acquiring an additional 1,400 shares during the last quarter.

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SLM Company Profile

SLM Corporation, through its subsidiaries, operates as a saving, planning, and paying for college company in the United States. The company originates and services private education loans to students or their families. It also offers retail deposit accounts, including certificates of deposit, money market deposit accounts, and high yield savings accounts; omnibus accounts; and a consumer savings network that provides financial rewards on everyday purchases to help families save for college.

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