Headlines about Provident Financial Services (NYSE:PFS) have been trending somewhat positive this week, Accern reports. The research group scores the sentiment of news coverage by analyzing more than 20 million blog and news sources in real-time. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Provident Financial Services earned a coverage optimism score of 0.14 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave news stories about the savings and loans company an impact score of 45.3940341103679 out of 100, meaning that recent news coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the stock’s share price in the next few days.

Here are some of the media headlines that may have impacted Accern’s analysis:

Several research analysts have weighed in on the company. ValuEngine upgraded Provident Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. BidaskClub downgraded Provident Financial Services from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 10th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Provident Financial Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 28th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “hold” rating and issued a $28.50 price target on shares of Provident Financial Services in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, Sandler O’Neill downgraded Provident Financial Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 30th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. Provident Financial Services has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $27.80.

Provident Financial Services (NYSE:PFS) opened at $27.96 on Wednesday. Provident Financial Services has a 52 week low of $23.19 and a 52 week high of $28.92. The company has a quick ratio of 1.08, a current ratio of 1.08 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.19. The firm has a market capitalization of $1,824.81, a P/E ratio of 18.18, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.78 and a beta of 0.97.

Provident Financial Services (NYSE:PFS) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The savings and loans company reported $0.41 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.37 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $85.32 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $83.84 million. Provident Financial Services had a return on equity of 7.61% and a net margin of 25.90%. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.36 EPS. equities analysts anticipate that Provident Financial Services will post 1.54 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a special dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 22nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 8th will be given a dividend of $0.15 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 7th. This represents a dividend yield of 3.01%. Provident Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio is currently 52.98%.

In other Provident Financial Services news, Director Frank L. Fekete sold 9,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.33, for a total value of $245,970.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 48,903 shares in the company, valued at $1,336,518.99. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Donald W. Blum sold 6,100 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.47, for a total value of $173,667.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 25,175 shares of company stock valued at $690,186 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 2.90% of the company’s stock.

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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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Provident Financial Services (NYSE:PFS)

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