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Sallie Mae beats 4Q profit forecasts but outlook falls short

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NEWARK, Del. (AP) — SLM Corp. on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street’s expectations but issued a weaker-than-expected forecast for profit this year.

The Newark, Delaware-based student loan company said it had net income of $89.8 million, or 20 cents a share, in the fourth quarter.

The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 18 cents per share.

The company posted net interest income of $187.8 million in the period.

For the year, the company reported profit of $274.3 million, or 59 cents per share. Net interest income was reported as $702.5 million.

Sallie Mae said it expects full-year 2016 earnings in the range of 49 cents to 51 cents per share. Analysts on average were expecting 65 cents a share, according to FactSet.

Sallie Mae shares have declined 17 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock closed Wednesday at $5.41, a decrease of 44 percent in the last 12 months.

In after-hours trading following the earnings report, the stock dipped 16 cents, or 3 percent, to $5.25.

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