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

Several other research firms have also issued reports on PFS. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Provident Financial Services from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, June 8th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Provident Financial Services from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 3rd. Sandler O’Neill upgraded shares of Provident Financial Services from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a hold rating and issued a $25.50 target price on shares of Provident Financial Services in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a buy rating and issued a $30.00 target price on shares of Provident Financial Services in a research note on Friday, July 7th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $26.90.

Provident Financial Services (NYSE:PFS) traded down 0.77% on Thursday, reaching $24.44. 187,079 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock 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 $20.20 and a 12-month high of $28.92. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $25.57 and its 200-day moving average price is $25.51.

Provident Financial Services (NYSE:PFS) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The savings and loans company reported $0.38 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ 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 firm had revenue of $83.87 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $81.24 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.34 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Provident Financial Services will post $1.48 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of PFS. BlackRock Inc. raised 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 last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised 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 last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised 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 last quarter. Northern Trust Corp raised 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 last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp raised 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 last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.50% 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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