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Center Bancorp, Inc. Reports Net Income Available To Common Shareholders Of $5.1 Million Or $0.31 Per Share For The Third Quarter Of 2013, Representing A 14.5% Increase

UNION, N.J., Oct. 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Center Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNBC) (the "Corporation", or "Center"), parent company of Union Center National Bank ("UCNB" or the "Bank"), reported operating results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2013. Net income available to common stockholders amounted to $5.1 million, or $0.31 per fully diluted common share, for the quarter ended September 30, 2013; an increase of $640,000 or approximately 14.5 percent as compared with net income available to common stockholders of $4.4 million, or $0.27 per fully diluted common share, for the quarter ended September 30, 2012.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2013, net income available to common stockholders amounted to $14.8 million, or $0.91 per fully diluted common share, compared to $12.8 million, or $0.78 per fully diluted common share, for the same period in 2012.

"Our third quarter earnings remained strong, fueled primarily by top line revenue growth with a continued improvement in our asset quality profile. The continued momentum in expanding our client base and focus within loan segments was evident in growth in the commercial loan sector of $65.0 million from September 30, 2012 to September 30, 2013 against the back drop of total loan growth of $87.5 million over the same period. We achieved solid growth across all principal portions of our business and achieved strong core deposit growth. Our actions, supported by our core earnings performance and strategic growth, created incremental shareholder value," said Anthony C. Weagley, President & Chief Executive Officer of Union Center National Bank.

Highlights for the quarter include:
  • Non-performing assets declined to 0.14 percent of total assets at September 30, 2013, compared to 0.34 percent at September 30, 2012 and 0.31 percent at December 31, 2012. The allowance for loan losses as a percentage of total non-performing loans was 501.7 percent at September 30, 2013 compared to 184.9 percent at September 30, 2012 and 278.9 percent at December 31, 2012.  
  • The Tier 1 leverage capital ratio was 9.52 percent at September 30, 2013, compared to 8.96 percent at September 30, 2012, and 9.02 percent at December 31, 2012, exceeding regulatory guidelines in all periods.  
  • Tangible book value per common share rose to $8.37 at September 30, 2013, compared to $7.90 at September 30, 2012 and $8.11 at December 31, 2012.  
  • The efficiency ratio for the third quarter of 2013 on an annualized basis was 45.8 percent as compared to 47.7 percent in the third quarter of 2012 and 46.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.  
  • Deposits increased $21.3 million to $1.314 billion at September 30, 2013, from $1.293 billion at September 30, 2012.

Non-performing assets (NPAs) at the end of the third quarter totaled $2.3 million, or 0.14 percent of total assets, as compared with $5.0 million, or 0.31 percent, at December 31, 2012 and $5.5 million, or 0.34 percent, at September 30, 2012.
Selected Financial Ratios          
(unaudited; annualized where applicable)          
           
As of or for the quarter ended: 9/30/13 6/30/13 3/31/13 12/31/12 9/30/12
Return on average assets 1.23% 1.22% 1.23% 1.11% 1.13%
Return on average equity 12.53% 11.84% 12.09% 11.17% 11.67%
Net interest margin (tax equivalent basis) 3.31% 3.28% 3.31% 3.32% 3.28%
Loans / deposits ratio 72.85% 70.48% 68.58% 68.07% 67.28%
Stockholders' equity / total assets 10.04% 10.04% 10.23% 9.86% 9.75%
Efficiency ratio (1) 45.8% 47.0% 48.5% 46.9% 47.7%
Book value per common share  $ 9.40  $ 9.17  $ 9.39  $ 9.14  $ 8.93
Return on average tangible equity (1) 13.98% 13.17% 13.49% 12.49% 13.12%
Tangible common stockholders' equity / tangible assets (1) 8.42% 8.38% 8.58% 8.22% 8.09%
Tangible book value per common share (1)  $ 8.37 $ 8.14 $ 8.36 $ 8.11 $ 7.90
           
(1)     Information reconciling non-GAAP measures to GAAP measures is presented elsewhere in this press release.          

Net Interest Income

For the three months ended September 30, 2013, total interest income on a fully taxable equivalent basis increased $617,000 or 4.2 percent, to $15.2 million, compared to the three months ended September 30, 2012. Total interest expense decreased by $116,000, or 4.0 percent, to $2.8 million, for the three months ended September 30, 2013, compared to the same period last year. Net interest income on a fully taxable equivalent basis was $12.4 million for the three months ended September 30, 2013, increasing $733,000, or 6.3 percent, from $11.7 million for the comparable period in 2012. Compared to 2012, for the three months ended September 30, 2013, average interest earning assets increased $75.5 million while net interest spread was at 3.15 percent for both periods. For the quarter ended September 30, 2013, the Corporation's net interest margin on a fully taxable equivalent annualized basis increased to 3.31 percent as compared to 3.28 percent for the same three month period in 2012.

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