Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Provident Financial Services, Inc (NYSE:PFS) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday. They currently have $30.00 price objective on the savings and loans company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Provident Financial Services, Inc. is the holding company of The Provident Bank, a community- and customer-oriented banking company. The Provident Bank emphasizes personal service and customer convenience in attending to the financial needs of individuals, families and businesses in northern and central New Jersey. The bank offers a broad array of deposit, loan, trust and investment products. In keeping with its Customer-Centric Strategy. “

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on the company. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Provident Financial Services in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $30.00 price objective on shares of Provident Financial Services in a research report on Friday, September 8th. DA Davidson began coverage on Provident Financial Services in a research report on Friday, September 1st. They issued a neutral rating and a $25.00 price objective on the stock. BidaskClub downgraded Provident Financial Services from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Thursday, August 10th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Provident Financial Services from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $27.80.

Provident Financial Services (NYSE:PFS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 27th. The savings and loans company reported $0.41 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.37 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $85.32 million for 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 quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.36 EPS.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 30th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th will be given a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 14th. Provident Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 52.98%.

In other news, Director Edward Odonnell sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.30, for a total transaction of $81,900.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 91,335 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,493,445.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Corporate insiders own 2.90% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of PFS. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Provident Financial Services by 43,449.2% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,524,873 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $194,518,000 after buying an additional 7,507,594 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Provident Financial Services by 7.7% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,548,692 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $143,433,000 after buying an additional 394,788 shares in the last quarter. Aberdeen Asset Management PLC UK bought a new position in shares of Provident Financial Services during the 2nd quarter worth $4,776,000. Northern Trust Corp grew its position in shares of Provident Financial Services by 5.7% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 2,444,532 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $62,043,000 after buying an additional 132,884 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Assenagon Asset Management S.A. bought a new position in shares of Provident Financial Services during the 3rd quarter worth $1,807,000. 61.40% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Provident Financial Services (NYSE:PFS)

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