Provident Financial Services, Inc (NYSE:PFS) announced a special dividend on Friday, November 17th, Wall Street Journal reports. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 8th will be paid a dividend of 0.15 per share by the savings and loans company on Friday, December 22nd. This represents a dividend yield of 3.01%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 7th.

Provident Financial Services has raised its dividend by an average of 8.2% annually over the last three years and has raised its dividend every year for the last 6 years. Provident Financial Services has a dividend payout ratio of 51.9% meaning its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Equities analysts expect Provident Financial Services to earn $1.61 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $0.80 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 49.7%.

Shares of Provident Financial Services (NYSE:PFS) opened at $27.96 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.19, a quick ratio of 1.08 and a current ratio of 1.08. The firm has a market capitalization of $1,870.01, a PE ratio of 18.63, a PEG ratio of 1.82 and a beta of 0.97. Provident Financial Services has a 52 week low of $23.19 and a 52 week high of $28.92.

Provident Financial Services (NYSE:PFS) last announced its earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The savings and loans company reported $0.41 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.37 by $0.04. The company 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 last year, the firm earned $0.36 earnings per share. sell-side analysts predict that Provident Financial Services will post 1.54 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Frank L. Fekete sold 9,000 shares of Provident Financial Services stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.33, for a total value of $245,970.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 48,903 shares in the company, valued at $1,336,518.99. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Donald W. Blum sold 6,100 shares of Provident Financial Services stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 29th. The stock was 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 sold 25,175 shares of company stock valued at $690,186 over the last quarter. Insiders own 2.90% of the company’s stock.

Several analysts have recently weighed in on PFS shares. DA Davidson initiated coverage on Provident Financial Services in a research note on Friday, September 1st. They set a “neutral” rating and a $25.00 target price for the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Provident Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $30.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $28.50 price target on shares of Provident Financial Services in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $30.00 price target on shares of Provident Financial Services in a research note on Friday, September 8th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded Provident Financial Services from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 10th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Provident Financial Services has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $27.80.

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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.

Dividend History for Provident Financial Services (NYSE:PFS)

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