Provident Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE:PFS) Short Interest Up 30.3% in August

Provident Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE:PFS) saw a large growth in short interest in August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 780,300 shares, a growth of 30.3% from the August 15th total of 598,900 shares. Approximately 1.3% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 242,700 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.2 days.

PFS traded down $0.88 during trading on Monday, reaching $21.35. 10,964 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 306,605. Provident Financial Services has a one year low of $11.76 and a one year high of $25.70. The company has a current ratio of 0.96, a quick ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.67 billion, a PE ratio of 10.54 and a beta of 1.05. The firm has a fifty day moving average price of $21.91 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $23.04.

Provident Financial Services (NYSE:PFS) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 29th. The savings and loans company reported $0.58 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.13. Provident Financial Services had a net margin of 33.66% and a return on equity of 9.84%. The company had revenue of $112.06 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $111.23 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.22 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 33.1% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts expect that Provident Financial Services will post 2.12 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 27th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 13th were paid a $0.23 dividend. This represents a $0.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.31%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 12th. Provident Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio is currently 66.19%.

A number of research firms have weighed in on PFS. Barclays reissued an “overweight” rating on shares of Provident Financial Services in a report on Thursday, August 12th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Provident Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $24.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, August 4th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $21.67.

In related news, EVP Vito Giannola sold 10,000 shares of Provident Financial Services stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.18, for a total transaction of $221,800.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 96,832 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,147,733.76. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP James A. Christy sold 3,000 shares of Provident Financial Services stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.93, for a total transaction of $65,790.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.96% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of PFS. USA Financial Portformulas Corp bought a new stake in shares of Provident Financial Services in the 2nd quarter valued at $58,000. Newbridge Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Provident Financial Services by 27.9% in the 2nd quarter. Newbridge Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 2,827 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $65,000 after purchasing an additional 616 shares during the last quarter. RMR Wealth Builders bought a new stake in shares of Provident Financial Services in the 1st quarter valued at $141,000. Ensign Peak Advisors Inc bought a new stake in shares of Provident Financial Services in the 1st quarter valued at $169,000. Finally, Teacher Retirement System of Texas bought a new stake in shares of Provident Financial Services in the 2nd quarter valued at $204,000. 61.35% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Provident Financial Services Company Profile

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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