TOMS RIVER, N.J., July 24, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OceanFirst Financial Corp. (Nasdaq:OCFC), (the "Company"), the holding company for OceanFirst Bank (the "Bank"), today announced that diluted earnings per share increased to $0.30 for the quarter ended June 30, 2014, as compared to $0.29 for the corresponding prior year quarter. For the six months ended June 30, 2014, diluted earnings per share increased to $0.58, as compared to $0.55 for the corresponding prior year period.
Highlights for the quarter included:
- Higher earnings were driven by loan portfolio growth of $60.9 million.
- Commercial loans outstanding increased $35.3 million, the fourth consecutive quarter of double digit growth.
- Non-performing loans decreased $4.6 million and net charge-offs fell by $253,000, 48% from the linked quarter.
The Company also announced completion of its 2012 share repurchase program and the authorization of the Board to repurchase 5% of the Company's outstanding common stock, up to an additional 867,923 shares (the "Repurchase Program").Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, John R. Garbarino stated, "The fourth consecutive quarter of double digit commercial loan growth has reaffirmed our strategic decision to add resources in this area, and with the robust loan pipeline we anticipate continued strong loan growth. Additionally, the renewal of our common stock Repurchase Program underscores our commitment to efficiently manage capital for our shareholders in the near term, as our plans for longer term growth continue to develop." The Board of Directors also declared the Company's seventieth consecutive quarterly cash dividend on common stock. The dividend for the quarter ended June 30, 2014 of $0.12 per share will be paid on August 15, 2014 to shareholders of record on August 4, 2014. Results of Operations Net income for the three months ended June 30, 2014 increased to $5.1 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, as compared to net income of $5.0 million, or $0.29 per diluted share for the corresponding prior year period. Net income for the six months ended June 30, 2014 increased to $9.8 million, or $0.58 per diluted share, as compared to net income of $9.4 million, or $0.55 per diluted share for the corresponding prior year period. The increases were primarily due to higher net interest income and a reduction in the provision for loan losses, partly offset by higher operating expenses. Additionally, earnings per share benefited from the reduction in average shares outstanding.