SLM Corp., the lender known as Sallie Mae, had its 2011 earnings estimate boosted 8.4 percent at FBR Capital Markets after announcing the acquisition of $28 billion of debt bundled and sold as bonds and related assets from Citigroup Inc.’s Student Loan Corp.
The debt acquisition “should serve as a catalyst for the stock,” the Reston, Virginia-based analysts wrote. They maintained their “outperform” rating and $19 price target for SLM shares. Sallie Mae rose 50 cents, or 4.5 percent, to $11.72 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, the biggest gain since July 7.
The company, also based in Reston, is paying $1.2 billion for the debt assets, the analysts said.