Center Bancorp, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter Net Income Available To Common Shareholders Of $4.4 Million Or $0.27 Per Share And Full Year 2012 Earnings Available To Common Shareholders Of $17.2 Million Or $1.05 Per Share

UNION, N.J., Jan. 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Center Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNBC) (the "Corporation", or "Center"), parent company of Union Center National Bank ("UCNB" or the "Bank"), today reported operating results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2012. Net income available to common stockholders amounted to $4.4 million, or $0.27 per fully diluted common share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, as compared with net income available to common stockholders of $3.2 million, or $0.20 per fully diluted common share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2011.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2012, net income available to common stockholders amounted to $17.2 million, or $1.05 per fully diluted common share, compared to $13.1 million, or $0.80 per fully diluted common share, for the same period in 2011.

"Our fourth quarter operating performance remained strong and was characterized by solid revenue growth, positive organic loan generation and a continuation of our stable and favorable asset quality profile. We continue to move forward with momentum in expanding our presence in key markets. With the opening of our Englewood office we are working to solidify and expand the service relationship with our new customers and remain excited by the potential to create incremental shareholder value from our strategic growth. We believe that this type of sequential earnings performance demonstrates the Corporation's commitment to achieving meaningful growth in earnings performance -- an essential component of providing consistent and favorable long-term returns to our shareholders," said Anthony C. Weagley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Union Center National Bank.

Highlights for the quarter include:
  • Strong balance sheet with improved credit trends compared to prior year.  
  • At December 31, 2012, total loans amounted to $889.7 million, an increase of $134.7 million compared to total loans at December 31, 2011.  
  • Noninterest expense decreased $29,000, or 0.47 percent, for the three months ended December 31, 2012 compared to the quarter ended December 31, 2011  
  • Reduction in non-performing assets, to 0.31 percent of total assets at December 31, 2012, compared to 0.34 percent at September 30, 2012 and 0.59 percent at December 31, 2011. The allowance for loan losses as a percentage of total non-performing loans was 278.9 percent at December 31, 2012 compared to 184.9 percent at September 30, 2012 and 121.5 percent at December 31, 2011.  
  • The Tier 1 leverage capital ratio was 9.02 percent at December 31, 2012, compared to 8.96 percent at September 30, 2012, and 9.29 percent at December 31, 2011, exceeding regulatory guidelines in all periods.  
  • Tangible book value per common share rose to $8.11 at December 31, 2012, compared to $6.60 at December 31, 2011 and $7.90 at September 30, 2012.  
  • The efficiency ratio for the fourth quarter of 2012 on an annualized basis was 46.9 percent as compared to 53.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 and 47.7 percent in the third quarter of 2012.  
  • Deposits increased $185.5 million to $1.3 billion at December 31, 2012, from $1.1 billion at December 31, 2011 in part as a result of the Saddle River Valley Bank transaction.
Selected Financial Ratios (unaudited; annualized where applicable)          
           
As of or for the quarter ended: 12/31/12 9/30/12 6/30/12 3/31/12 12/31/11
Return on average assets 1.11% 1.13% 1.16% 1.16% 1.03%
Return on average equity 11.17% 11.67% 11.96% 12.05% 10.72%
Net interest margin (tax equivalent basis) 3.32% 3.28% 3.29% 3.39% 3.50%
Loans / deposits ratio 68.07% 67.28% 68.70% 68.36% 67.32%
Stockholders' equity / total assets 9.86% 9.75% 9.86% 9.62% 9.49%
Efficiency ratio (1) 46.9% 47.7% 47.1% 49.3% 53.7%
Book value per common share  $ 9.14  $ 8.93  $ 8.36  $ 8.01  $ 7.63
Return on average tangible equity (1) 12.49% 13.12% 13.53% 13.70% 12.25%
Tangible common stockholders' equity / tangible assets (1) 8.22% 8.09% 8.08% 7.81% 7.61%
Tangible book value per common share (1) $ 8.11 $ 7.90 $ 7.33 $ 6.98 $ 6.60

(1) Information reconciling non-GAAP measures to GAAP measures is presented elsewhere in this press release.

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