Provident Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE:PFS) Short Interest Up 25.6% in February

Provident Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE:PFS – Get Rating) saw a large growth in short interest in February. As of February 15th, there was short interest totalling 998,800 shares, a growth of 25.6% from the January 31st total of 795,000 shares. Approximately 1.4% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 339,100 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.9 days.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Provident Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $28.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, February 2nd.

Shares of NYSE:PFS traded up $0.39 on Tuesday, reaching $23.27. The company had a trading volume of 14,513 shares, compared to its average volume of 333,976. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.80 billion, a PE ratio of 10.45 and a beta of 0.95. The company has a current ratio of 0.91, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40. Provident Financial Services has a 52-week low of $20.86 and a 52-week high of $26.20. The firm’s 50 day simple moving average is $24.30 and its 200-day simple moving average is $23.97.

Provident Financial Services (NYSE:PFS – Get Rating) last posted its earnings results on Friday, January 28th. The savings and loans company reported $0.49 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.47 by $0.02. Provident Financial Services had a return on equity of 10.02% and a net margin of 34.33%. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.53 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Provident Financial Services will post 1.97 earnings per share for the current year.


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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, February 25th. Investors of record on Friday, February 11th were given a dividend of $0.24 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 10th. This represents a $0.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.13%. Provident Financial Services’s payout ratio is 43.84%.

In other news, Director John Pugliese sold 10,000 shares of Provident Financial Services stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.15, for a total transaction of $241,500.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 3.96% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Jennison Associates LLC increased its position in shares of Provident Financial Services by 44.8% during the third quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 56,432 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $1,324,000 after purchasing an additional 17,464 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley increased its position in Provident Financial Services by 31.7% during the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 316,383 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $7,243,000 after buying an additional 76,169 shares in the last quarter. Amalgamated Bank purchased a new stake in Provident Financial Services in the second quarter valued at about $830,000. Hsbc Holdings PLC raised its stake in Provident Financial Services by 921.0% in the third quarter. Hsbc Holdings PLC now owns 189,484 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $4,476,000 after buying an additional 170,926 shares during the last quarter. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. boosted its holdings in Provident Financial Services by 4.9% in the third quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,454,783 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $34,144,000 after acquiring an additional 67,383 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 61.44% of the company’s stock.

About Provident Financial Services (Get Rating)

Provident Financial Services, Inc is a holding company, which engages in the provision of banking services to individual and corporate customers in Northern and Central New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. The company was founded on January 15, 2003 and is headquartered in Jersey City, NJ.

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