(By Balaseshan) Center Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: CNBC), the parent company of Union Center National Bank, reported a 37.2% jump in quarterly earnings on solid revenue growth, positive organic loan generation and a continuation of its stable and favorable asset quality profile.
Earnings for the fourth quarter were $4.44 million or $0.27 per share, up from $3.24 million or $0.20 per share last year.
Net interest income on a fully taxable equivalent basis grew 13.7% to $12.0 million, on higher interest income and lower interest expense.
Average interest earning assets increased $237.9 million, while net interest spread and margin, on a tax-equivalent basis, fell on an annualized basis by 21 basis points and 18 basis points, respectively. Net interest margin decreased to 3.32% from 3.50%.
Other income decreased to $1.02 million from $1.87 million, primarily from an increase in loan related fees, gains on loans held for sale, bank owned life insurance income and annuities and insurance commissions.
Net loans increased to $879.4 million at December 31, 2012 from $859.8 million at September 30, 2012, on about $89.2 million in new loans and advances. This includes allowance for loan losses of $10.2 million at both December 31, 2012 and September 30, 2012.
Non-accrual loans decreased to $3.6 million at December 31, 2012 from $5.0 million at September 30, 2012. Loans past due 90 days or more and still accruing decreased to $55,000 at December 31, 2012 from $570,000 at September 30, 2012.
At December 31, 2012, non-performing assets fell to $5.0 million from $8.5 million at December 31, 2011 and $5.5 million at September 30, 2012. Deposits increased 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.
CNBC is trading up 0.29% at $11.98 on Friday. The stock has been trading between $9.42 and $12 for the past 52 weeks.