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Is It Smart To Buy Provident Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE:PFS) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend?

·3 min read

It looks like Provident Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE:PFS) is about to go ex-dividend in the next three days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date, which is the cut-off date for shareholders to be present on the company's books to be eligible for a dividend payment. It is important to be aware of the ex-dividend date because any trade on the stock needs to have been settled on or before the record date. Accordingly, Provident Financial Services investors that purchase the stock on or after the 11th of August will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 26th of August.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.24 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$0.96 per share. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Provident Financial Services stock has a trailing yield of around 4.0% on the current share price of $24.17. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.

View our latest analysis for Provident Financial Services

Dividends are usually paid out of company profits, so if a company pays out more than it earned then its dividend is usually at greater risk of being cut. Provident Financial Services paid out a comfortable 46% of its profit last year.

Generally speaking, the lower a company's payout ratios, the more resilient its dividend usually is.

Click here to see the company's payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

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historic-dividend

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Stocks in companies that generate sustainable earnings growth often make the best dividend prospects, as it is easier to lift the dividend when earnings are rising. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. With that in mind, we're encouraged by the steady growth at Provident Financial Services, with earnings per share up 9.0% on average over the last five years.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Provident Financial Services has delivered 7.2% dividend growth per year on average over the past 10 years. It's encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.

Final Takeaway

Should investors buy Provident Financial Services for the upcoming dividend? Provident Financial Services has seen its earnings per share grow slowly in recent years, and the company reinvests more than half of its profits in the business, which generally bodes well for its future prospects. Provident Financial Services ticks a lot of boxes for us from a dividend perspective, and we think these characteristics should mark the company as deserving of further attention.

So while Provident Financial Services looks good from a dividend perspective, it's always worthwhile being up to date with the risks involved in this stock. To help with this, we've discovered 1 warning sign for Provident Financial Services that you should be aware of before investing in their shares.

A common investing mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a full list of high-yield dividend stocks.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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