Provident Financial Services, Inc (NYSE:PFS) was downgraded by stock analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.

A number of other brokerages also recently commented on PFS. ValuEngine raised Provident Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 8th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Provident Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 3rd. Sandler O’Neill raised Provident Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 29th. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $25.50 price target on shares of Provident Financial Services in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $30.00 price target on shares of Provident Financial Services in a research report on Friday, July 7th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $25.90.

Provident Financial Services (NYSE:PFS) traded up 0.23% during trading on Monday, hitting $25.64. The stock had a trading volume of 83,033 shares. Provident Financial Services has a one year low of $19.88 and a one year high of $28.92. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $25.00 and a 200 day moving average of $25.68. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.65 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.12 and a beta of 0.98.

Provident Financial Services (NYSE:PFS) last posted its earnings results on Friday, April 28th. The savings and loans company reported $0.37 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.36 by $0.01. Provident Financial Services had a return on equity of 7.24% and a net margin of 25.02%. The company had revenue of $79.50 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $80.78 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.33 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Provident Financial Services will post $1.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Provident Financial Services news, Director Carlos Hernandez sold 2,650 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $24.56, for a total value of $65,084.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 81,408 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,999,380.48. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 2.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Provident Financial Services by 43,449.2% in the first 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. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Provident Financial Services during the fourth quarter worth about $21,180,000. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Provident Financial Services by 7.7% in the first 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. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its stake in Provident Financial Services by 6.8% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,064,100 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $27,507,000 after buying an additional 68,100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of America Corp DE increased its stake in Provident Financial Services by 46.1% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 189,041 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $4,887,000 after buying an additional 59,678 shares in the last quarter. 62.57% of the stock is 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.

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