Sallie Mae profit drops on weaker gains from securities sales; stock falls aftermarket

StocksAssociated Press

Student lender Sallie Mae said Wednesday its fourth-quarter net income fell 75 percent as gains on the sale of securities dropped and operating costs rose.

The Newark, Delaware-based company said its net income totaled $14.9 million, or 3 cents per share, from $60.2 million, or 14 cents per share, a year ago.

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The results did not meet Wall Street expectations, as Zacks Investment Research says analysts expected a profit of 5 cents per share, on average.

Shares of Sallie Mae dropped 70 cents, or 7.2 percent, to $8.99 in aftermarket trading.

Sallie Mae said its operating costs increased because of a reorganization and because it is now a standalone company. Its loan management, servicing and asset recovery division became a separate company called Navient in April.

After deducting money set aside to cover losses on loans, Sallie Mae's net interest income rose 29 percent to $120.2 million.

For the year, the company reported a profit of $181.3 million, or 42 cents per share, after paying dividends on preferred stock. That's down 30 percent from 2013.

Shares of Sallie Mae, which is officially known as SLM Corp., have risen 12 percent over the last 12 months. They closed Wednesday at $9.69.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on SLM at http://www.zacks.com/ap/SLM