Affirm (NASDAQ:AFRM) and SLM (NASDAQ:SLM) Financial Contrast

SLM (NASDAQ:SLMGet Rating) and Affirm (NASDAQ:AFRMGet Rating) are both finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings, risk, profitability, valuation and dividends.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for SLM and Affirm, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
SLM 0 1 5 0 2.83
Affirm 1 6 8 0 2.47

SLM presently has a consensus target price of $23.71, suggesting a potential upside of 39.91%. Affirm has a consensus target price of $83.60, suggesting a potential upside of 117.71%. Given Affirm’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Affirm is more favorable than SLM.

Volatility and Risk

SLM has a beta of 1.23, suggesting that its share price is 23% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Affirm has a beta of 2.79, suggesting that its share price is 179% more volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares SLM and Affirm’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
SLM 48.17% 57.49% 4.00%
Affirm -74.96% -22.95% -10.26%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

96.5% of SLM shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 43.2% of Affirm shares are held by institutional investors. 0.5% of SLM shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 16.5% of Affirm shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares SLM and Affirm’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
SLM $2.41 billion 1.97 $1.16 billion $3.47 4.88
Affirm $870.46 million 12.55 -$430.92 million ($3.24) -11.85

SLM has higher revenue and earnings than Affirm. Affirm is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than SLM, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


SLM beats Affirm on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

SLM Company Profile (Get Rating)

SLM Corporation, through its subsidiaries, originates and services private education loans to students and their families to finance the cost of their education in the United States. It also offers retail deposit accounts, including certificates of deposit, money market deposit accounts, and high-yield savings accounts; and omnibus accounts, as well as credit card loans. It serves students and families through financial aid, federal loans, and student and family resources. The company was formerly known as New BLC Corporation and changed its name to SLM Corporation in December 2013. SLM Corporation was founded in 1972 and is headquartered in Newark, Delaware.

Affirm Company Profile (Get Rating)

Affirm Holdings, Inc. operates a platform for digital and mobile-first commerce in the United States and Canada. The company's platform includes point-of-sale payment solution for consumers, merchant commerce solutions, and a consumer-focused app. Its payments network and partnership with an originating bank, enables consumers to pay for a purchase over time with terms ranging from one to forty-eight months. As of June 30, 2021, the company had approximately 29,000 merchants integrated on its platform covering small businesses, large enterprises, direct-to-consumer brands, brick-and-mortar stores, and companies. Its merchants represent a range of industries, including sporting goods and outdoors, furniture and homewares, travel, apparel, accessories, consumer electronics, and jewelry. The company was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

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