SLM Corp Earnings: Beats the Street on Profit Rise

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component SLM Corporation (NYSE:SLM) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter. SLM originates, services and collects student loans. It provides funding, delivery and servicing support for education loans in the United States.

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SLM Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter.

Results: Net income for the credit services company rose to $511 million (99 cents per share) vs. $447.4 million (84 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 14.2% from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: SLM beat the mean analyst estimate of 50 cents per share.

Quoting Management: “We achieved each of 2011’s major objectives – significant lending growth, reduced operating expense, higher fee income; we also reinstated quarterly dividend payments and began to repurchase shares,” said Albert L. Lord, vice chairman & CEO, Sallie Mae. “The franchise is strong and positioned for solid earnings growth in 2012.”

Key Stats:

The company beat estimates last quarter after being in line with expectations in the third quarter with net income of 36 cents per share.

SLM’s profit in the latest quarter follows losses in the previous two quarters. The company reported a net loss of $47 million in the third quarter and a loss of $5.6 million in the second quarter.

Looking Forward: The outlook for the company’s results in the upcoming quarter is unfavorable. The average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year is 50 cents per share, down from 51 cents ninety days ago. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has moved up from $1.82 a share to $1.83 over the last ninety days.

Competitors to Watch: Nelnet, Inc. (NYSE:NNI), The Student Loan Corp. (NYSE:STU), Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS), American Express Company (NYSE:AXP), The First Marblehead Corp. (NYSE:FMD), Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), QC Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCCO), Advance America, Cash Advance Centers (NYSE:AEA), World Acceptance Corp. (NASDAQ:WRLD), and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp (FMCC).

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at