TOMS RIVER, N.J., Oct. 18, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OceanFirst Financial Corp. (Nasdaq:OCFC), the holding company for OceanFirst Bank (the "Bank"), today announced that diluted earnings per share amounted to $0.28 for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, unchanged from the prior year quarter. For the nine months ended September 30, 2012, diluted earnings per share increased to $0.89, as compared to $0.84 for the prior year period. Diluted earnings per share for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2012 was adversely impacted by $0.03 per diluted share due to the previously announced non-recurring severance payment to the Bank's former President and Chief Operating Officer. Excluding this non-recurring item, earnings per share increased 10.7% and 9.5%, respectively, for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2012 as compared to the same prior year periods. Additional highlights for the quarter included:
- Stockholders' equity per common share at September 30, 2012 increased to $12.19 and the return on average stockholders' equity remained strong at 9.08%.
- Credit quality improved as non-performing loans decreased by $2.8 million at September 30, 2012 as compared to December 31, 2011 and by $7.2 million as compared to September 30, 2011.
- The Company remains well-capitalized with a tangible common equity ratio of 9.53% at September 30, 2012.
The Company also announced that the Board of Directors declared its sixty-third consecutive quarterly cash dividend on common stock. The dividend for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 of $0.12 per share will be paid on November 9, 2012, to shareholders of record on October 29, 2012.
Chairman and CEO John R. Garbarino observed, "We are pleased to continue to report earnings per share growth over the prior year. An improving economic climate has also advanced our recent decision to expand our Monmouth County presence, entering the Red Bank market with a full service Financial Solutions Center offering deposit, lending and asset management services. We are looking forward to a Spring 2013 grand opening."