Center Bancorp (CNOB) Downgraded by ValuEngine

ValuEngine downgraded shares of Center Bancorp (NASDAQ:CNOB) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Wednesday.

CNOB has been the subject of several other reports. Zacks Investment Research raised Center Bancorp from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $36.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, March 13th. BidaskClub downgraded Center Bancorp from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a buy rating and set a $36.00 target price on shares of Center Bancorp in a research note on Tuesday, February 27th. Finally, Raymond James Financial increased their target price on Center Bancorp from $33.00 to $34.00 and gave the stock a strong-buy rating in a research note on Tuesday. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Center Bancorp has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $34.13.

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CNOB opened at $28.60 on Wednesday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.13, a current ratio of 1.13 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.28. The company has a market cap of $936.50, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.34 and a beta of 1.04. Center Bancorp has a 52 week low of $21.04 and a 52 week high of $31.40.

Center Bancorp (NASDAQ:CNOB) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.51 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $41.83 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $39.55 million. Center Bancorp had a return on equity of 10.22% and a net margin of 22.80%. equities research analysts expect that Center Bancorp will post 2.21 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, April 16th will be paid a dividend of $0.075 per share. This represents a $0.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.05%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, April 13th. Center Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 17.14%.

In other news, Chairman Frank Sorrentino III sold 2,174 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.45, for a total transaction of $61,850.30. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 593,980 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,898,731. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO William S. Burns sold 941 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.60, for a total value of $26,912.60. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 53,204 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,521,634.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 12,377 shares of company stock valued at $359,186. Company insiders own 7.63% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Center Bancorp during the 4th quarter worth approximately $357,000. Millennium Management LLC increased its stake in Center Bancorp by 22.5% in the 4th quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 297,743 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $7,667,000 after purchasing an additional 54,661 shares in the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Center Bancorp by 74.1% in the 4th quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 218,755 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $5,633,000 after purchasing an additional 93,118 shares in the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its stake in Center Bancorp by 36.1% in the 4th quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 83,513 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,150,000 after purchasing an additional 22,158 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its stake in Center Bancorp by 2.3% in the 4th quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 1,441,355 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $37,115,000 after purchasing an additional 32,185 shares in the last quarter. 66.50% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Center Bancorp

ConnectOne Bancorp, Inc operates as the bank holding company for ConnectOne Bank, a state chartered bank that provides various commercial banking products and services. The company offers a range of deposit products, including personal and business checking accounts, retirement accounts, money market accounts, time and savings accounts, and NOW accounts.

To view ValuEngine’s full report, visit ValuEngine’s official website.

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