UPDATE 1-Sallie Mae ’10 profit view above Street estimates

* Sees 2010 core earnings of more than $1.70/shr

* Says will not hasten restructuring

* Expects 2011 earnings of $1.50 per share

* Sees gradual fall in operating expenses

* Says operating expenses to be lower than $1 bln in 2012

Oct 20 (BestGrowthStock) – Sallie Mae’s (SLM.N: ) full-year
projections edged past Wall Street targets as the largest U.S.
student loan provider expects a gain from federal loan sales
and debt repurchase.

The student loan provider also sees a gain of 13 cents a
share in 2011 from its recent acquisition of $28 billion in
federally guaranteed loans from Student Loan Corp (STU.N: ), it
said on a conference call with analysts.

However, the company — which has been contemplating
strategic options, including spinoffs and selling the remaining
financial interest in the FFELP portfolio — said it will not
make a hasty move to realize “pent-up value” on its balance
sheet.

The company lost a key business when the 45-year-old
Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), which supported
private student lending with federal subsidies, ended earlier
this year, forcing the company to cut jobs and realign its
business.

Sallie Mae, which trades under the name SLM Corp, said its
2010 earnings-per-share forecast of more than $1.70 includes 39
cents from federal loan sales and 26 cents in debt repurchase
gains.

Analysts on average were expecting the company to earn
$1.70 a share in 2010, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

For 2011, however, the company’s forecast of $1.50 a share
fell short of analyst estimates by a penny.

Operating expenses for 2010 is seen at about $1.3 billion,
and is expected to fall below the $1-billion mark going into
2012.

On Tuesday, Salle Mae posted an adjusted third-quarter
profit that trumped analysts’ estimates, as its net interest
income soared by more than 66 percent. [ID:nSGE69H0LY]

Shares of the Reston, Virginia-based company were up 2
percent at $11.28 in midday trade on the New York Stock
Exchange. They touched $11.36 earlier in the day.

The company’s shares have fallen 16 percent since posting
market-beating results in April.
The mean 12-month price target for the stock is $16.00,
according to StarMine data, which indicates that it is expected
to rise 45 percent from Tuesday’s close, in the next 12 months.
Most of these analysts have either a “buy” or “strong buy”
rating on the stock.
(Reporting by Archana Shankar in Bangalore; Editing by Anil
D’Silva and Gopakumar Warrier)

UPDATE 1-Sallie Mae ’10 profit view above Street estimates