2014

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: SLM, Higher One Holdings, Preferred Bank, CU Bancorp and Dow Chemical

CHICAGO, May 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include SLM Corporation (Nasdaq: SLM), Higher One Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ONE), Preferred Bank (Nasdaq: PFBC), CU Bancorp (Nasdaq: CUNB) and The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW).

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Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Sallie Mae Divests Campus Solutions

SLM Corporation (Nasdaq: SLM), also known as Sallie Mae, announced the sale of its Campus Solutions business to Higher One Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ONE). The all-cash deal is valued at approximately $47.25 million.

Sallie Mae's Campus Solutions unit provides business-to-business services, which comprise e-Commerce and billing payment services, refund disbursement services, and tuition payment plan management to country-wide business offices of colleges and universities.

Founded in 2000, Higher One is a chief financial services provider to colleges and universities. Further, it offers data analytics solutions. With its diverse range of services, Higher One specializes in enhancing administrative efficiencies and reducing fraud, and helps lower the expenses of higher education.

For Higher One, the acquisition of Sallie Mae's Campus Solutions will be beneficial because the latter has a trusted client-base in institutions across the country. Additionally, the Campus Solutions unit has a proven track record and years of expertise in financial assistance and payment solutions. The Campus Solutions portfolio will be a value addition to the wide range of products and services of Higher One. With the completion of the agreement, Higher One expects to continue offering its customers the refund disbursement services, payment processing services and data analytics solutions of the highest quality.

Sallie Mae's sale of the Campus Solutions segment reflects the company's efforts to bolster its revenues by focusing on its consumer segment consisting of retail products and services that directly help students and families plan and reduce costs of higher education.

The suspension of the new federal student loan origination, in compliance with the legislation passed by both the House and the Senate in 2012, will continue be a revenue headwind for Sallie Mae. However, we believe that the company's efforts to support its earnings by the expansion of its private education loan business and reduction of its loan loss provision expenses are encouraging.

Despite challenges, Sallie Mae's leading position in the student lending market, diversifying efforts and increasing private student loan originations will help the company navigate the sluggish macroeconomic environment.

Sallie Mae currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Financial stocks that are performing better than Sallie Mae include Preferred Bank (Nasdaq: PFBC) and CU Bancorp (Nasdaq: CUNB), both of which carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Dow Gets U.S. OK for New Insecticide

The Dow Chemical Company's (NYSE: DOW) fully-owned subsidiary Dow AgroSciences LLC has received approval from the U.S. regulatory authorities to market its new insecticidal active ingredient, Sulfoxaflor, as Transform and Closer.

Sulfoxaflor registrations in the U.S. and Canada were accomplished after a Global Joint Review which also included Australia. Countries which have already registered sulfoxaflor are South Korea, Panama, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Guatemala. Australian sulfoxaflor registration is expected by third-quarter 2013. In addition to this, other global registrations are anticipated in the near future.

Sulfoxaflor falls under the Dow AgroSciences invented novel chemical class, sulfoximines. Sulfoxaflor is uniquely designed to exhibit effective control over many important sap-feeding harmful insect pests. It also holds exclusive features that make it distinct from other sap-feeding insecticides by providing an innovative new tool for farmers in the years to come.

Sulfoxaflor can be applied in a large variety of crops including cotton, soybean, citrus, pome/stone fruit, nuts, grapes, potatoes, vegetables and strawberries. Sulfoxaflor is an exemplary introduction to the Integrated Pest Management programs. The tool fits perfectly into growers' existing programs to help them protect yields in a wide variety of foods and fiber crops globally.

Dow AgroSciences had successfully launched Sulfoxaflor in South Korea in 2012 and received a U.S. Section 18 Emergency Use Label in cotton, which resulted in positive market reactions.

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