Center Bancorp, Inc. Reports Net Income Available To Common Shareholders Of $5.0 Million Or $0.30 Per Share For The Fourth Quarter Of 2013, Representing A 11.6% Increase Over The Fourth Quarter Of 2012

UNION, N.J., Jan. 21, 2014 (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, 2013. Net income available to common stockholders amounted to $5.0 million, or $0.30 per fully diluted common share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2013, an increase of $514,000 or approximately 11.6 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 December 31, 2012.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2013, net income available to common stockholders amounted to $19.8 million, or $1.21 per fully diluted common share, compared to $17.2 million, or $1.05 per fully diluted common share, for the same period in 2012.

"Our fourth quarter earnings remained strong, fueled on fundamentals driving top line revenue growth with solid asset quality. We achieved significant growth across all principal portions of our business and achieved strong core deposit growth during the fourth quarter. Our actions, supported by our core earnings performance and strategic growth, created value to our shareholders," said Anthony C. Weagley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Union Center National Bank.

Highlights for the quarter include:
  • Non-performing assets (NPA's) of $3.4 million were 0.20 percent of total assets at December 31, 2013, compared to $2.3 million or 0.14 percent at September 30, 2013 and $5.0 million or 0.31 percent at December 31, 2012. The allowance for loan losses as a percentage of total non-performing loans was 329.4 percent at December 31, 2013 compared to 501.7 percent at September 30, 2013 and 278.9 percent at December 31, 2012.
  • The Tier 1 leverage capital ratio was 9.69 percent at December 31, 2013, compared to 9.52 percent at September 30, 2013, and 9.02 percent at December 31, 2012, exceeding regulatory guidelines in all periods.
  • Tangible book value per common share rose to $8.58 at December 31, 2013, compared to $8.37 at September 30, 2013 and $8.11 at December 31, 2012.
  • The efficiency ratio for the fourth quarter of 2013 on an annualized basis was 46.6 percent as compared to 45.8 percent in the third quarter of 2013 and 46.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.
  • Deposits increased $35.1 million to $1.34 billion at December 31, 2013, from $1.31 billion at December 31, 2012.
Selected Financial Ratios          
(unaudited; annualized where applicable)          
           
As of or for the quarter ended: 12/31/13 9/30/13 6/30/13 3/31/13 12/31/12
Return on average assets 1.20% 1.23% 1.22% 1.23% 1.11%
Return on average equity 11.85% 12.53% 11.84% 12.09% 11.17%
Net interest margin (tax equivalent basis) 3.29% 3.31% 3.28% 3.31% 3.32%
Loans / deposits ratio 71.61% 72.85% 70.48% 68.60% 68.07%
Stockholders' equity / total assets 10.08% 10.04% 10.04% 10.23% 9.86%
Efficiency ratio (1) 46.6% 45.8% 47.0% 48.5% 46.9%
Book value per common share  $ 9.61  $ 9.40  $ 9.17  $ 9.39  $ 9.14
Return on average tangible equity (1) 13.16% 13.98% 13.17% 13.49% 12.49%
Tangible common stockholders' equity / tangible assets (1) 8.48% 8.42% 8.38% 8.58% 8.22%
Tangible book value per common share (1)  $ 8.58  $ 8.37 $ 8.14 $ 8.36 $ 8.11
 
(1) Information reconciling non-GAAP measures to GAAP measures is presented elsewhere in this press release.

Net Interest Income

For the three months ended December 31, 2013, total interest income on a taxable equivalent basis increased $528,000 or 3.6 percent, to $15.3 million, compared to the three months ended December 31, 2012. Total interest expense decreased by $63,000, or 2.2 percent, to $2.8 million, for the three months ended December 31, 2013, compared to the same period last year. Net interest income on a taxable equivalent basis was $12.6 million for the three months ended December 31, 2013, increasing $591,000, or 4.9 percent, from $12.0 million for the comparable period in 2012. Compared to 2012, for the three months ended December 31, 2013, average interest earning assets increased $83.0 million while net interest spread was at 3.11 percent and 3.19 percent for the three months ended December 31, 2013 and December 31, 2012, respectively. For the quarter ended December 31, 2013, the Corporation's net interest margin on a taxable equivalent annualized basis decreased to 3.29 percent as compared to 3.32 percent for the same three month period in 2012.

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