Provident Financial Services, Inc (NYSE:PFS) Rating Lowered to Strong Sell at BidaskClub

BidaskClub lowered shares of Provident Financial Services, Inc (NYSE:PFS) from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday.

Several other analysts have also commented on PFS. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Provident Financial Services from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $30.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. ValuEngine lowered shares of Provident Financial Services from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $25.50 price target on shares of Provident Financial Services in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $30.00 price target on shares of Provident Financial Services in a research report on Friday, July 7th. Finally, Sandler O’Neill raised shares of Provident Financial Services from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, June 29th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $26.90.

Provident Financial Services (NYSE:PFS) traded up 2.74% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $25.11. The company had a trading volume of 122,206 shares. Provident Financial Services has a 1-year low of $20.20 and a 1-year high of $28.92. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.62 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.32 and a beta of 0.99. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $25.57 and a 200 day moving average price of $25.51.

Provident Financial Services (NYSE:PFS) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The savings and loans company reported $0.38 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.36 by $0.02. Provident Financial Services had a net margin of 25.39% and a return on equity of 7.40%. 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 posted $0.34 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Provident Financial Services will post $1.49 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 31st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 15th will be given a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.27%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 11th. This is a positive change from Provident Financial Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. Provident Financial Services’s payout ratio is presently 52.05%.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Provident Financial Services by 0.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,549,296 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $191,599,000 after buying an additional 24,423 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Provident Financial Services by 0.8% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,593,194 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $141,955,000 after buying an additional 44,502 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Provident Financial Services by 0.3% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 5,592,982 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $141,951,000 after buying an additional 14,562 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp increased its stake in Provident Financial Services by 5.7% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 2,444,532 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $62,043,000 after buying an additional 132,884 shares during the period. Finally, State Street Corp increased its stake in Provident Financial Services by 2.3% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,473,022 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $38,075,000 after buying an additional 33,602 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 61.57% of the company’s stock.

About Provident Financial Services

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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