Provident Financial Services, Inc (PFS) Sees Large Drop in Short Interest

Provident Financial Services, Inc (NYSE:PFS) was the target of a significant decline in short interest during the month of July. As of July 14th, there was short interest totalling 336,620 shares, a decline of 35.4% from the June 30th total of 521,163 shares. Currently, 0.6% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 178,524 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.9 days.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Guggenheim Capital LLC boosted its position in Provident Financial Services by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Guggenheim Capital LLC now owns 15,794 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $447,000 after buying an additional 86 shares during the last quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System boosted its position in Provident Financial Services by 0.4% in the second quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 24,700 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $627,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System boosted its position in shares of Provident Financial Services by 0.3% in the second quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 31,618 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $802,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Amalgamated Bank boosted its position in shares of Provident Financial Services by 1.5% in the second quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 8,387 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $213,000 after buying an additional 126 shares during the last quarter. Finally, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Provident Financial Services by 0.5% in the first quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 24,995 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $647,000 after buying an additional 135 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 62.50% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities analysts recently issued reports on the stock. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $30.00 target price on shares of Provident Financial Services in a research report on Friday, July 7th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Provident Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 3rd. BidaskClub lowered shares of Provident Financial Services from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Sandler O’Neill upgraded shares of Provident Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 29th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $27.00 price target on shares of Provident Financial Services in a research report on Friday, April 28th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $26.90.

Shares of Provident Financial Services (NYSE PFS) opened at 24.44 on Friday. The company has a 50 day moving average of $25.57 and a 200-day moving average of $25.51. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.57 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.86 and a beta of 0.99. Provident Financial Services has a 12 month low of $20.36 and a 12 month high of $28.92.

Provident Financial Services (NYSE:PFS) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The savings and loans company reported $0.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.36 by $0.02. Provident Financial Services had a return on equity of 7.40% and a net margin of 25.39%. The business had revenue of $83.87 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $81.24 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.34 EPS. Provident Financial Services’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Provident Financial Services will post $1.48 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 31st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 15th will be given a $0.20 dividend. This is a positive change from Provident Financial Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.27%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 11th. Provident Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 52.05%.

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Provident Financial Services Company Profile

Provident Financial Services Inc is a holding company for The Provident Bank (the Bank). The Bank is a New Jersey-chartered capital stock savings bank. As a community and customer-oriented institution, the Bank provides personal service and customer convenience in serving the financial needs of the individuals, families and businesses residing in its primary markets areas.

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