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OceanFirst Financial Corp. Announces Quarterly And Annual Financial Results And Effect Of Strategic Initiatives

TOMS RIVER, N.J., Jan. 23, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OceanFirst Financial Corp. (Nasdaq:OCFC), (the "Company"), the holding company for OceanFirst Bank (the "Bank"), today announced that, as a result of the planned series of strategic initiatives disclosed in the third quarter earnings release, diluted earnings per share amounted to $0.11 for the quarter ended December 31, 2013, as compared to $0.23 for the corresponding prior year period. For the year ended December 31, 2013, diluted earnings per share amounted to $0.95, as compared to $1.12 for the prior year.

Diluted earnings per share for the quarter and the year ended December 31, 2013 were adversely impacted by $0.19 per diluted share due to the previously announced strategic initiatives relating to the prepayment of $159.0 million of Federal Home Loan Bank ("FHLB") advances, at a cost of $4.3 million, and the consolidation of two branches into newer, in-market facilities, at a cost of $579,000.

Highlights for the quarter included:
  • Commercial loans outstanding increased $26.4 million, an annualized growth rate of 18.8%, the second consecutive quarter of double digit growth. 
  • The net interest margin increased to 3.38%, as compared to 3.20% in the linked quarter, largely the result of the prepayment of higher-cost FHLB borrowings and growth in higher-yielding commercial loans which replaced maturing securities.
  • Tangible common equity remains strong at a ratio of 9.53%. 

The Company also announced that the Board of Directors declared its sixty-eighth consecutive quarterly cash dividend on common stock. The dividend for the quarter ended December 31, 2013 of $0.12 per share will be paid on February 14, 2014 to shareholders of record on February 3, 2014. 

Chairman and CEO John R. Garbarino observed "the second consecutive quarter of strong commercial loan growth and the restructuring of our FHLB advance book bolstered the net interest margin. Strategically, we continue to build our team of proven income producers in several areas, with these expenses largely offset by future savings from the consolidation of two branches into newer, in-market facilities.  With strong commercial, and residential construction, loan pipelines at year-end and our high performing team of revenue producers in place, we are excited about our prospects for revenue growth in 2014."

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