Center Bancorp, Inc. Reports Net Income Available to Common Shareholders of $4.9 Million or $0.30 Per Share for the First

Center Bancorp, Inc. Reports Net Income Available to Common Shareholders of $4.9 Million or $0.30 Per Share for the First Quarter of 2013, Representing a 19% Increase  UNION, N.J., April 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Center Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNBC) (the "Corporation", or "Center"), parent company of Union Center National Bank ("UCNB" or the "Bank"), reported operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013. Net income available to common stockholders amounted to $4.9 million, or $0.30 per fully diluted common share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, an increase of $778,000 or approximately 19 percent as compared with net income available to common stockholders of $4.1 million, or $0.25 per fully diluted common share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2012.  "Our first quarter operating performance remained strong with a continued improvement in our asset quality profile. We continued to move forward with momentum in expanding our presence in key markets with the announcement of our new Princeton office, our first location in Mercer County. This continues our goal of expanding our presence and visibility in markets we are drawing business from, allowing us to solidify and expand our service relationships. These types of actions, supported by our core earnings performance and strategic growth, create incremental shareholder value," said Anthony C. Weagley, President & Chief Executive Officer of Union Center National Bank.  Mr. Weagley added: "We are pleased with this quarter's earnings and believe that our 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. Margins were relatively stable and are poised for an increase. We were challenged this quarter by the level of payoffs that we experienced, which dampened the solid new loan growth that was achieved. Nevertheless, the sequential growth that we have been experiencing in loans has enabled us to buck the current industry trends of soft loan growth across the industry, thanks to our solid pipelines and core loan growth. Small businesses lending remains strong despite the continued uncertainty about the economic recovery and broader fiscal uncertainty. Our current targeted net growth for the second quarter will achieve our year-on-year growth projection."                       Highlights for the quarter include:    oStrong balance sheet with improved credit trends compared to prior year.        oAt March 31, 2013, total loans amounted to $879.4 million, an increase of     $90.8 million compared to total loans at March 31, 2012, in part as a     result of the Saddle River Valley Bank transaction completed in the third     quarter of 2012.        oReduction in non-performing assets, to 0.26 percent of total assets at     March 31, 2013, compared to 0.59 percent at March 31, 2012 and 0.31     percent at December 31, 2012. The allowance for loan losses as a     percentage of total non-performing loans was 390.7 percent at March 31,     2013 compared to 119.1 percent at March 31, 2012 and 278.9 percent at     December 31, 2012.        oThe Tier 1 leverage capital ratio was 9.31 percent at March 31, 2013,     compared to 9.21 percent at March 31, 2012, and 9.02 percent at December     31, 2012, exceeding regulatory guidelines in all periods.        oTangible book value per common share rose to $8.36 at March 31, 2013,     compared to $6.98 at March 31, 2012 and $8.11 at December 31, 2012.        oThe efficiency ratio for the first quarter of 2013 on an annualized basis     was 48.5 percent as compared to 49.3 percent in the first quarter of 2012     and 46.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.        oDeposits increased $128.8 million to $1.28 billion at March 31, 2013, from     $1.15 billion at March 31, 2012, in part as a result of the Saddle River     Valley Bank transaction.  Non-performing assets (NPAs) at the end of the first quarter totaled $4.2 million, or 0.26 percent of total assets, as compared with $5.0 million, or 0.31 percent, at December 31, 2012 and $8.7 million, or 0.59 percent, at March 31, 2012. "Asset quality remains a primary focus, and our actions with respect to asset quality have placed us near the top of all publicly traded banks and thrifts in the state of New Jersey," said Mr. Weagley.                                                                     Selected Financial Ratios                                         (unaudited; annualized where                                        applicable)                                                                    As of or for the quarter ended:    3/31/13  12/31/12  9/30/12  6/30/12 3/31/12 Return on average assets           1.23%    1.11%     1.13%    1.16%   1.16% Return on average equity           12.09%   11.17%    11.67%   11.96%  12.05% Net interest margin (tax           3.31%    3.32%     3.28%    3.29%   3.39% equivalent basis) Loans / deposits ratio             68.58%   68.07%    67.28%   68.70%  68.36% Stockholders' equity / total       10.23%   9.86%     9.75%    9.86%   9.62% assets Efficiency ratio (1)               48.5%    46.9%     47.7%    47.1%   49.3% Book value per common share        $ 9.39  $ 9.14   $ 8.93  $ 8.36 $ 8.01 Return on average tangible equity  13.49%   12.49%    13.12%   13.53%  13.70% (1) Tangible common stockholders'      8.58%    8.22%     8.09%    8.08%   7.81% equity / tangible assets (1) Tangible book value per common     $ 8.36   $ 8.11    $ 7.90   $ 7.33  $ 6.98 share (1)  (1)Information reconciling non-GAAP measures to GAAP measures is presented elsewhere in this press release.  Net Interest Income  For the three months ended March 31, 2013, total interest income on a fully taxable equivalent basis increased $0.9 million or 6.3 percent, to $14.1 million, compared to the three months ended March 31, 2012. Total interest expense decreased by $316,000, or 10.4 percent, to $2.7 million, for the three months ended March 31, 2013, compared to the same period last year. Net interest income on a fully taxable equivalent basis was $12.0 million for the three months ended March 31, 2013, increasing $1.2 million, or 11.0 percent, from $10.8 million for the comparable period in 2012. Compared to 2012, for the three months ended March 31, 2013, average interest earning assets increased $172.6 million while net interest spread and margin, on a tax-equivalent basis, decreased on an annualized basis by 11 basis points and 8 basis points, respectively. For the quarter ended March 31, 2013, the Corporation's net interest margin on a fully taxable equivalent annualized basis decreased to 3.31 percent as compared to 3.39 percent for the same three month period in 2012.  The 10.4 percent decrease in interest expense reflects a favorable shift in the deposit mix and the impact of the sustained low levels in short-term interest rates, offsetting higher volumes of interest bearing deposits.The average cost of funds declined 17 basis points to 0.90 percent from 1.07 percent for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 and on a linked sequential quarter decreased 2 basis points compared to the fourth quarter of 2012.For the quarter ended March 31, 2013, the Corporation's annualized net interest spread decreased to 3.17 percent as compared to 3.28 percent for the same three month period in 2012.  Commenting on the Corporation's net interest margins, Mr. Weagley remarked: "We stabilized margins during the period, but continue to lag our targeted goals as a result of a continued high liquidity pool carried during the periods, which has not been entirely offset by the projected investing activity.We expect an improvement in margin, principally given the continued volume of asset deployment into loans from cash and elimination of temporary factors holding the margin down as we move through the second quarter of 2013."  Earnings Summary for the Period Ended March 31, 2013  The following table presents condensed consolidated statement of income data for the periods indicated.  Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income (unaudited) (dollars in thousands,                                           except per share data)                                                                 For the quarter ended:  3/31/13    12/31/12   9/30/12    6/30/12    3/31/12 Net interest income     $11,370   $11,422   $11,183   $10,546   $10,345 Provision for loan      —          100        225        (107)      107 losses Net interest income afterprovision for     11,370     11,322     10,958     10,653     10,238 loan losses Other income            1,845      1,016      2,635      1,604      1,955 Other expense           6,538      6,193      7,507      5,690      5,807 Income before income    6,677      6,145      6,086      6,567      6,386 tax expense Income tax expense      1,753      1,676      1,632      2,214      2,155 Net income              $4,924    $4,469    $4,454    $4,353    $4,231 Net income available   $4,868    $4,441    $4,426    $4,269    $4,090 to common stockholders Earnings per common                                              share: Basic                   $0.30     $0.27     $0.27     $0.26     $0.25 Diluted                 $0.30     $0.27     $0.27     $0.26     $0.25 Weighted average common                                          shares outstanding: Basic                   16,348,215 16,347,564 16,347,088 16,333,653 16,332,327 Diluted                 16,373,588 16,363,698 16,362,635 16,341,767 16,338,162  Other Income  Other income decreased $110,000 for the first quarter of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012.During the first quarter of 2013, the Corporation recorded net investment securities gains of $319,000 compared to $937,000 in net investment securities gains for the same period last year. Excluding net securities gains, the Corporation recorded other income of $1.5 million for the three months ended March 31, 2013 compared to other income, excluding net securities gains, of $1.0 million for the first quarter of 2012 and $1.2 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012.The increase in other income in the first quarter of 2013 when compared to the first quarter of 2012 (excluding securities losses/gains) was primarily from an increase of $137,000 in other fees, $29,000 in loan related fees, an increase in bank owned life insurance income of $314,000, which include $291,000 in tax free proceeds in excess of contract value on the death of one participant, and an increase of $56,000 in annuities and insurance commissions.  The following table presents the components of other income for the periods indicated.  (in thousands, unaudited)                                           For the quarter ended:                3/31/13 12/31/12 9/30/12 6/30/12 3/31/12 Service charges on deposit accounts   $289   $324    $333   $287   $314 Loan related fees                     139     220      85      95      110 Net gains on sales of loans held for  138     170      88      100     126 sale Annuities and insurance commissions   100     67       45      48      44 Debit card and ATM fees               117     125      126     134     132 Bank-owned life insurance             565     282      239     246     251 Net investment securities gains       319     (201)    763     513     937 (losses) Bargain gain on acquisition           —       —        899     —       — Other fees                            178     29       57      181     41 Total other income                   $1,845 $1,016  $2,635 $1,604 $1,955  Other Expense  Total other expense for the first quarter of 2013 amounted to $6.5 million, which was approximately $345,000 or 5.3 percent higher than other expense for the three months ended December 31, 2012 and primarily related to an increase in employee salaries and benefits, whichincreased $285,000.The increase from the last quarter in 2012 includes the acquisition of the assets of Saddle River Valley Bank and, to a lesser extent, normal merit increases in salaries and higher benefit costs. Other increases contributing to the rise in operating overhead included FDIC insurance, marketing and advertising, other real estate owned and all other expense. These increases were partially offset by decreases in occupancy and equipment expense of $36,000, and professional and consulting expenses of $41,000.  The following table presents the components of other expense for the periods indicated.  (in thousands, unaudited)                                           For the quarter ended:                3/31/13 12/31/12 9/30/12 6/30/12 3/31/12 Salaries                              $2,653 $2,495  $2,505 $2,347 $2,344 Employee benefits                     837     710      688     708     774 Occupancy and equipment               906     942      739     606     700 Professional and consulting           219     260      277     294     246 Stationery and printing               85      100      69      96      84 FDIC Insurance                        313     293      292     270     299 Marketing and advertising             101     35       64      56      31 Computer expense                      353     338      366     362     353 Bank regulatory related expenses      90      82       77      75      78 Postage and delivery                  56      61       55      71      79 ATM related expenses                  71      72       64      69      62 Other real estate owned, net          19      1        65      22      62 Amortization of core deposit          10      10       10      11      13 intangible Repurchase agreement prepayment and   —       —        1,012   —       — termination fee Acquisition cost                      —       10       472     —       — All other expenses                    825     784      752     703     682 Total other expense                   $6,538 $6,193  $7,507 $5,690 $5,807  The increase in other expense for the three months ended March 31, 2013, when compared to the quarter ended March 31, 2012, was approximately $731,000. Increases primarily included salaries and benefit expense of $372,000, occupancy and equipment expense of $206,000, FDIC insurance of $14,000, marketing and advertising expense of $70,000, bank regulatory related expenses of $12,000, ATM related expenses of $9,000 and all other expenses of $143,000. These increases were partially offset by decreases of $27,000 in professional and consulting, $23,000 in postage and delivery and $43,000 in other real estate owned expense.  Statement of Condition Highlights at March 31, 2013    oContinued strength in balance sheet with total assets amounted to $1.6     billion at March 31, 2013.        oTotal loans were $879.4 million at March 31, 2013, increasing $90.8     million, or 11.5 percent, from March 31, 2012.Total real estate loans     increased $58.6 million, or 10.6 percent, from March 31, 2012. Commercial     loans increased $32.2 million, or 13.7 percent, year over year.        oInvestment securities totaled $536.2 million at March 31, 2013, reflecting     an increase of $11.6 million or 2.2 percent from March 31, 2012.        oDeposits totaled $1.28 billion at March 31, 2013, increasing $128.8     million, or 11.2 percent, since March 31, 2012.Total Demand, Savings,     Money Market, and certificates of deposit less than $100,000 increased     $142.3 million or 13.7 percent from March 31, 2012. The increases were     attributable to continued core deposit growth in overall segments of the     deposit base, as well as the Saddle River Valley Bank transaction.        oBorrowings totaled $151.2 million at March 31, 2013, decreasing $15.0     million from March 31, 2012, primarily due to the termination of a $10.0     million repurchase agreement and the prepayment of a $5.0 million FHLB New     York advance.  Condensed Statements of Condition  The following table presents condensed statements of condition data as of the dates indicated.  Condensed Consolidated Statements of Condition (unaudited) (in thousands)                                                  At quarter ended:  3/31/13     12/31/12    9/30/12     6/30/12     3/31/12 Cash and due from  $116,755   $104,134   $100,106  $73,668    $78,207 banks Interest bearing deposits with      —           2,004       2,002       12,000      — banks Investment                                                      securities: Available for sale 458,004     496,815     509,605     467,190     454,994 Held to maturity   78,212      58,064      56,503      62,997      69,610 Loans held for sale, at fair      774         1,491       1,055       501         2,060 value Loans              879,387     889,672     869,998     806,953     788,562 Allowance for loan (10,232)    (10,237)    (10,240)    (10,221)    (9,754) losses Restricted investment in bank 8,966       8,964       8,964       9,139       9,233 stocks, at cost Premises and       13,544      13,563      13,564      12,218      12,266 equipment, net Goodwill           16,804      16,804      16,804      16,804      16,804 Core deposit       45          54          64          73          85 intangible Bank-owned life    34,935      34,961      29,679      29,440      29,194 insurance Other real estate  1,536       1,300       —           453         558 owned Other assets       11,065      12,176      13,975      19,807      24,776 Total assets      $1,609,795 $1,629,765 $1,612,079 $1,501,022 $1,476,595 Deposits           $1,282,223 $1,306,922 $1,293,013 $1,174,649 $1,153,473 Borrowings         151,155     151,155     151,205     166,262     166,155 Other liabilities  11,664      10,997      10,676      12,128      14,886 Stockholders'      164,753     160,691     157,185     147,983     142,081 equity Total liabilities and stockholders'  $1,609,795 $1,629,765 $1,612,079 $1,501,022 $1,476,595 equity  The following table reflects the composition of the Corporation's deposits as of the dates indicated.  Deposits                                                        (unaudited) (in thousands)                                                  At quarter ended:  3/31/13     12/31/12    9/30/12     6/30/12     3/31/12 Demand:                                                         Non-interest       $213,794   $215,071   $192,321   $181,282   $172,342 bearing Interest-bearing   207,427     217,922     222,660     199,064     197,648 Savings            221,274     216,274     218,732     207,151     209,436 Money market       488,124     493,836     488,189     432,507     411,626 Time               151,604     163,819     171,111     154,645     162,421 Total deposits     $1,282,223 $1,306,922 $1,293,013 $1,174,649 $1,153,473  Loans  The Corporation's net loans in the first quarter of 2013 decreased $10.2 million, to $869.2 million at March 31, 2013, from $879.4 million at December 31, 2012.This includes allowance for loan losses of $10.2 million at both March 31, 2013 and December 31, 2012.The loan growth during the period amounted to approximately $64.1 million in new loans and advances during the first quarter. This growth was offset in part by prepayments of $33.1 million coupled with scheduled payments, maturities and payoffs of $41.1 million. Average loans during the first quarter of 2013 totaled $873.9 million as compared to $755.8 million during the first quarter of 2012, representing a 15.6 percent increase.  At the end of the first quarter of 2013, the loan portfolio remained well diversified with commercial and industrial (C&I) loans, including owner-occupied commercial real estate loans, accounting for 30.3 percent of the loan portfolio, commercial real estate loans representing 49.1 percent of the loan portfolio, and consumer and other loans representing 16.6 percent of the loan portfolio. Construction and development loans accounted for only 4.0 percent of the loan portfolio. The loan volume increase within the portfolio amounted to $102.9 million in commercial and commercial real estate loans, offset by decreases of $9.5 million in construction loans and $2.4 million in residential mortgage loans. At March 31, 2012, net loans totaled $778.8 million.  The following reflects the composition of the Corporation's loan portfolio as of the dates indicated.  Loans (unaudited)                                                 (in thousands)                                                    At quarter ended:            3/31/13   12/31/12  9/30/12   6/30/12   3/31/12 Real estate loans:                                                Residential                  $ 145,228 $ 158,361 $ 162,070 $ 147,431 $ 147,607 Commercial                   431,771   428,673   424,574   381,348   371,855 Construction                 35,166    40,272    40,867    33,521    34,093 Total real estate loans      612,165   627,306   627,511   562,300   553,555 Commercial loans             266,762   261,791   242,008   244,294   234,549 Consumer and other loans     326       452       324       196       399 Total loans before deferred  879,253   889,549   869,843   806,790   788,503 fees and costs Deferred costs, net          134       123       155       163       59 Total loans                  $ 879,387 $ 889,672 $ 869,998 $ 806,953 $ 788,562  At March 31, 2013, the Corporation had $212.7 million in overall undisbursed loan commitments, which includes largely unused commercial lines of credit, home equity lines of credit and available usage from active construction facilities.Included in the overall undisbursed commitments are the Corporation's "Approved, Accepted but Unfunded" pipeline, which includes approximately $45.1 million in commercial and commercial real estate loans and $5.6 million in residential mortgages expected to fund over the next 90 days.  Asset Quality  Non-accrual loans decreased from $3.6 million at December 31, 2012 to $2.6 million at March 31, 2013. Loans past due 90 days or more and still accruing decreased marginally from $55,000 at December 31, 2012 to $54,000 at March 31, 2013.Other real estate owned at March 31, 2013 was $1.5 million, as compared to $1.3 million at December 31, 2012.Both properties are currently being marketed and the Corporation anticipates sales with no further losses. Performing troubled debt restructured loans, which are performing loans, remained stable at $6.81 million at December 31, 2012, $6.79 million at March 31, 2013 and $6.90 million at March 31, 2012 respectively.  The following table presents the components of non-performing assets and other asset quality data for the periods indicated.  (dollars in thousands,                                          unaudited) As of or for the        3/31/13    12/31/12   9/30/12    6/30/12    3/31/12 quarter ended: Non-accrual loans       $2,565    $3,616    $4,967    $3,943    $7,125 Loans 90 days or more past due and still      54         55         570        1,026      1,062 accruing Total non-performing    2,619      3,671      5,537      4,969      8,187 loans Other real estate owned 1,536      1,300      —          453        558 Total non-performing    $4,155    $4,971    $5,537   $5,422    $8,745 assets Performing troubled     $6,786    $6,813    $6,851    $8,736    $6,900 debt restructured loans                                                                 Non-performing assets / 0.26%      0.31%      0.34%      0.36%      0.59% total assets Non-performing loans /  0.30%      0.41%      0.64%      0.62%      1.04% total loans Net charge-offs         $5        $103      $206      $(574)    $(45) (recoveries) Net charge-offs (recoveries) / average  N/M        0.05%      0.10%      (0.29)%    (0.02)% loans (1) Allowance for loan      1.16%      1.15%      1.18%      1.27%      1.24% losses / total loans Allowance for loan losses / non-performing 390.7%     278.9%     184.9%     205.7%     119.1% loans                                                                 Total assets            $1,609,795 $1,629,765 $1,612,079 $1,501,022 $1,476,595 Total loans             879,387    889,672    869,998    806,953    788,562 Average loans           873,916    864,829    850,059    790,382    755,813 Allowance for loan      10,232     10,237     10,240     10,221     9,754 losses                                                                 (1)Annualized.                                                  N/M – not meaningful                                              At March 31, 2013, non-performing assets totaled $4.2 million, or 0.26 percent of total assets, as compared with $8.7 million, or 0.59 percent, at March 31, 2012 and $5.0 million, or 0.31 percent, at December 31, 2012.The decrease from March 31, 2012 reflects the ability to satisfactorily work out the problem loans that exist.The largest component of the remaining non-accrual loans is comprised of one relationship totaling $639,000, or 24.9 percent of the total, secured by senior liens on a residential property, located in Morris County, New Jersey. This loan has been restructured and is performing and it is anticipated that it will be returned to a performing status in the second quarter of 2013. The remaining loans are primarily residential properties and are in the process of being worked out. Subsequent to March 31, 2013, a commercial property with a recorded value of $129,000 was resolved with no further loss to its recorded value.  The allowance for loan losses at March 31, 2013 amounted to approximately $10.2 million, or 1.16 percent of total loans. Excluding loans acquired from Saddle River Valley Bank and carried at fair value, the coverage ratio was 1.22 percent, compared to 1.24 percent of total loans at March 31, 2012. The allowance for loan losses as a percentage of total non-performing loans was 390.7 percent at March 31, 2013 compared to 119.1 percent at March 31, 2012.  Capital  At March 31, 2013, total stockholders' equity amounted to $164.8 million, or 10.2 percent of total assets. Tangible common stockholders' equity was $136.8 million, or 8.58 percent of tangible assets, compared to 7.81 percent at March 31, 2012. Book value per common share was $9.39 at March 31, 2013, compared to $8.01 at March 31, 2012. Tangible book value per common share was $8.36 at March 31, 2013 compared to $6.98 at March 31, 2012.  At March 31, 2013, the Corporation's Tier 1 leverage capital ratio was 9.31 percent, the Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio was 11.63 percent and the total risk-based capital ratio was 12.46 percent. Tier 1 capital increased to approximately $147.8 million at March 31, 2013 from $133.1 million at March 31, 2012, reflecting an increase in retained earnings.  At March 31, 2013, the Corporation's capital ratios continued to exceed the minimum Federal requirements for a bank holding company, and Union Center National Bank's capital ratios continued to exceed each of the minimum levels required for classification as a "well capitalized institution" under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act ("FDICIA").  Non-GAAP Financial Measures  Reported amounts are presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America ("GAAP"). The Corporation's management believes that the supplemental non-GAAP information provided in this press release is utilized by market analysts and others to evaluate a company's financial condition and, therefore, that such information is useful to investors. These disclosures should not be viewed as a substitute for financial results determined in accordance with GAAP, nor are they necessarily comparable to non-GAAP performance measures presented by other companies.  "Return on average tangible stockholders' equity" is a non-GAAP financial measure and is defined as net income as a percentage of tangible stockholders' equity. Tangible stockholders' equity is defined as common stockholders' equity less goodwill and other intangible assets. The return on average tangible stockholders' equity measure may be important to investors that are interested in analyzing the Corporation's return on equity excluding the effect of changes in intangible assets on equity.  The following table presents a reconciliation of average tangible stockholders' equity and a reconciliation of return on average tangible stockholders' equity for the periods presented.  (dollars in thousands)                                            For the quarter ended:       3/31/13   12/31/12  9/30/12   6/30/12   3/31/12 Net income                   $4,924   $4,469   $4,454   $4,353   $4,231 Average stockholders' equity $ 162,853 $ 160,006 $ 152,686 $ 145,607 $ 140,411 Less: Average goodwill and other   16,855    16,864    16,874    16,884    16,897 intangible assets Average tangible             $145,998 $143,142 $135,812 $128,723 $123,514 stockholders' equity                                                                  Return on average            12.09%    11.17%    11.67%    11.96%    12.05% stockholders' equity Add: Average goodwill and other   1.40%     1.32%     1.45%     1.57%     1.65% intangible assets Return on average tangible   13.49%    12.49%    13.12%    13.53%    13.70% stockholders' equity  "Tangible book value per common share" is a non-GAAP financial measure and represents tangible stockholders' equity (or tangible book value) calculated on a per common share basis. The disclosure of tangible book value per common share may be helpful to those investors who seek to evaluate the Corporation's book value per common share without giving effect to goodwill and other intangible assets.  The following table presents a reconciliation of stockholders' equity to tangible common stockholders' equity and book value per common share to tangible book value per common share as of the dates presented.  (dollars in thousands, except per share data) At quarter ended:       3/31/13    12/31/12   9/30/12    6/30/12    3/31/12 Common shares           16,348,915 16,347,915 16,347,088 16,347,088 16,332,327 outstanding Stockholders' equity    $164,753  $160,691  $157,185  $147,983  $142,081 Less: Preferred stock   11,250     11,250     11,250     11,250     11,250 Less: Goodwill and      16,849     16,858     16,868     16,877     16,889 other intangible assets Tangible common         $136,654  $132,583  $129,067  $119,856  $113,942 stockholders' equity                                                                 Book value per common   $9.39     $9.14     $8.93     $8.36     $8.01 share Less: Goodwill and      1.03       1.03       1.03       1.03       1.03 other intangible assets Tangible book value per $8.36     $8.11     $7.90     $7.33     $6.98 common share  "Tangible common stockholders' equity/tangible assets" is a non-GAAP financial measure and is defined as tangible common stockholders' equity as a percentage of total assets minus goodwill and other intangible assets. This measure may be important to investors that are interested in analyzing the financial condition of the Corporation without consideration of intangible assets, inasmuch as tangible common stockholders' equity and tangible assets both exclude goodwill and other intangible assets.  The following table presents a reconciliation of total assets to tangible assets and a comparison of total stockholders' equity/total assets to tangible common stockholders' equity/tangible assets as of the dates presented.  (dollars in thousands)                                           At quarter ended:       3/31/13    12/31/12   9/30/12    6/30/12    3/31/12 Total assets            $1,609,795 $1,629,765 $1,612,079 $1,501,022 $1,476,595 Less: Goodwill and      16,849     16,858     16,868     16,877     16,889 other intangible assets Tangible assets         $1,592,946 $1,612,907 $1,595,211 $1,484,145 $1,459,706                                                                 Total stockholders'     10.23%     9.86%      9.75%      9.86%      9.62% equity / total assets Tangible common stockholders' equity /  8.58%      8.22%      8.09%      8.08%      7.81% tangible assets  Other income is presented in the table below including and excluding net gains. We believe that many investors desire to evaluate other income without regard for gains.  (in thousands)                                                      For the quarter ended:                3/31/13 12/31/12 9/30/12 6/30/12 3/31/12 Other income                          $1,845 $1,016  $2,635 $1,604 $1,955 Less: Net investment securities gains 319     (201)    763     513     937 (losses) Less: Bargain gain on acquisition     —       —        899     —       — Other income, excluding net investment                            $1,526 $1,217  $973   $1,091 $1,018 securities gains ( losses)and bargain gain on acquisition  "Efficiency ratio" is a non-GAAP financial measure and is defined as other expense as a percentage of net interest income on a tax equivalent basis plus other income, excluding net securities gains, calculated as follows:  (dollars in thousands)                                             For the quarter ended:            3/31/13  12/31/12 9/30/12  6/30/12  3/31/12 Other expense                     $6,538  $6,193  $7,507  $5,690  $5,807 Less: Repurchase agreement        —        —        1,012    —        — termination fee Less: Acquisition cost            —        10       472      —        — Other expense, excluding          $6,538  $6,183  $6,023  $5,690  $5,807 extraordinary items                                                                   Net interest income (tax          $11,950 $11,969 $11,663 $10,990 $10,761 equivalent basis) Other income, excluding net       1,526    1,217    973      1,091    1,018 investment securities gains Total                             $13,476 $13,186 $12,636 $12,081 $11,779                                                                   Efficiency ratio                  48.5%    46.9%    47.7%    47.1%    49.3%  The following table sets forth the Corporation's consolidated average statements of condition for the periods presented.  Condensed Consolidated Average Statements of Condition (unaudited) (in thousands)                                                  For the quarter    3/31/13     12/31/12    9/30/12     6/30/12     3/31/12 ended: Investment                                                      securities Available for sale $503,223   $517,179   $508,864   $473,963   $443,109 Held to maturity   65,378     58,929     60,275     66,626     72,401 Loans              873,916     864,829     850,059     790,382     755,813 Allowance for loan (10,229)    (10,188)    (10,197)    (9,813)     (9,683) losses All other assets   171,703     181,306     172,032     177,100     199,631 Total assets       $1,603,991 $1,612,055 $1,581,033 $1,498,258 $1,461,271 Non-interest       $212,860   $205,278   $183,858   $173,248   $167,921 bearing deposits Interest-bearing   1,061,261   1,079,351   1,066,849   1,002,230   976,958 deposits Borrowings         151,488     151,364     164,294     166,299     166,375 Other liabilities  15,529      16,056      13,346      10,874      9,606 Stockholders'      162,853     160,006     152,686     145,607     140,411 equity Total liabilities and stockholders'  $1,603,991 $1,612,055 $1,581,033 $1,498,258 $1,461,271 equity  About Center Bancorp  Center Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company, which operates Union Center National Bank, its main subsidiary. Chartered in 1923, Union Center National Bank is one of the oldest national banks headquartered in the state of New Jersey and now ranks as the third largest national bank headquartered in the state.Union Center National Bank is currently the largest commercial bank headquartered in Union County. Its primary market niche is its commercial banking business. The Bank focuses its lending activities on commercial lending to small and medium-sized businesses, real estate developers and high net worth individuals.  The Bank, through its Private Banking and Wealth Management Division, which includes its wholly-owned subsidiary, Center Financial Group LLC, provides personalized wealth management and advisory services to high net worth individuals and families. Our services include banking, liquidity management, investment services, custody, tailored lending, wealth planning, trust and fiduciary services, insurance, family wealth advisory services and philanthropic advisory services. The Bank, through a strategic partnership between the Bank's Private Banking Division and Alexander, Troy & Company ("AT&CO."), Family Office Services, of Katonah, New York, provides customized financial and administrative services to high-net worth individuals.  Center, through a strategic partnership with Compass Financial Management, LLC and ING, offers pension/401(k) planning services.Compass is an Investment Advisory Company with five decades of cumulative experience providing investment services in a personal, professional and attentive manner.They provide discretionary private investment management for individuals and corporate accounts as well as 401(k) advisory services.  The Bank currently operates 15 banking locations in Union, Morris and Bergen Counties in New Jersey. Banking centers are located in Union Township (5 locations), Berkeley Heights, Boonton/Mountain Lakes,Englewood, Madison, Millburn/Vauxhall, Morristown, Oakland, Saddle River, Springfield, and Summit, New Jersey. Center received approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to open a Private Banking and Loan Production Office in Princeton, NJ. The Bank's primary market area is comprised of central and northern New Jersey.  For further information regarding Center Bancorp, Inc., please visit our web site at http://www.centerbancorp.com or call (800) 862-3683. For information regarding Union Center National Bank, please visit our web site at www.ucnb.com.  Forward-Looking Statements  All non-historical statements in this press release (including statements regarding future margin performance, the Bank's ability to market non-performing assets, the performance of restructured assets and other aspects of the Corporation's future performance ) constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements may use forward-looking terminology such as "expect," "look," "believe," "plan," "anticipate," "may," "will" or similar statements or variations of such terms or otherwise express views concerning trends and the future. Such forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties. These include, but are not limited to, the direction of interest rates, continued levels of loan quality and origination volume, Center Bancorp's ability to integrate Saddle River Valley Bank's branches into Center Bancorp's branch network, continued relationships with major customers, including sources for loans, as well as the effects of international, national, regional and local economic conditions and legal and regulatory barriers and structure, including those relating to economic recovery and the deregulation of the financial services industry, and other risks cited in the Corporation's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and other reports filed by the Corporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ materially from such forward-looking statements. Center Bancorp, Inc. assumes no obligation for updating any such forward-looking statement at any time.    CENTER BANCORP, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CONDITION  (in thousands, except for share and per share data)   March 31,   December 31,                                                       2013        2012                                                      (Unaudited)  ASSETS                                                            Cash and due from banks                               $ 116,755   $ 104,134 Interest bearing deposits with banks                  —           2,004 Total cash and cash equivalents                       116,755     106,138 Investment securities:                                            Available for sale                                    458,004     496,815 Held to maturity (fair value of $81,921 at March 31,  78,212      58,064 2013 and $62,431 atDecember 31, 2012) Loans held for sale                                   774         1,491 Loans                                                 879,387     889,672 Less: Allowance for loan losses                       10,232      10,237 Net loans                                             869,155     879,435 Restricted investment in bank stocks, at cost         8,966       8,964 Premises and equipment, net                           13,544      13,563 Accrued interest receivable                           6,423       6,849 Bank-owned life insurance                             34,935      34,961 Goodwill                                              16,804      16,804 Prepaid FDIC assessments                              525         811 Other real estate owned                               1,536       1,300 Due from brokers for investment securities            718         — Other assets                                          3,444       4,570 Total assets                                          $ 1,609,795 $ 1,629,765                                                                  LIABILITIES                                                       Deposits:                                                         Non-interest bearing                                  $ 213,794   $ 215,071 Interest-bearing:                                                 Time deposits $100 and over                           99,687      110,835 Interest-bearing transaction, savings and time        968,742     981,016 deposits less than $100 Total deposits                                        1,282,223   1,306,922 Long-term borrowings                                  146,000     146,000 Subordinated debentures                               5,155       5,155 Accounts payable and accrued liabilities              11,664      10,997 Total liabilities                                     1,445,042   1,469,074                                                                  STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY                                              Preferred stock, $1,000 liquidation value per share, authorized 5,000,000 shares; issued and outstanding 11,250 shares of Series B preferred stock at March    11,250      11,250 31, 2013 and December 31, 2012 total liquidation value of $11,250 Common stock, no par value, authorized 25,000,000 shares; issued 18,477,412 shares at March 31, 2013 andDecember 31, 2012; outstanding 16,348,915 shares  110,056     110,056 at March 31, 2013 and 16,347,915 shares at December 31, 2012 Additional paid in capital                            4,820       4,801 Retained earnings                                     50,690      46,753 Treasury stock, at cost (2,128,497 common shares at              March 31, 2013 and 2,129,497 common shares December   (17,230)   (17,232) 31, 2012) Accumulated other comprehensive income                5,167       5,063 Total stockholders' equity                           164,753     160,691 Total liabilities and stockholders' equity           $ 1,609,795 $ 1,629,765    CENTER BANCORP, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME (Unaudited)                                                          Three Months Ended                                                          March 31, (in thousands, except for share and per share data)      2013       2012                                                                    Interest income                                                     Interest and fees on loans                               $ 9,923    $ 9,385 Interest and dividends on investment securities:                    Taxable                                                 2,972      3,088 Tax-exempt                                              1,076      773 Dividends                                                131        149 Interest on federal funds sold and other                 2          — short-terminvestment Total interest income                                   14,104     13,395 Interest expense                                                    Interest on certificates of deposit $100 or more         239        252 Interest on other deposits                               1,045      1,156 Interest on borrowings                                   1,450      1,642 Total interest expense                                  2,734      3,050 Net interest income                                      11,370     10,345 Provision for loan losses                                —          107 Net interest income after provision for loan losses      11,370     10,238 Other income                                                        Service charges, commissions and fees                    406        446 Annuities and insurance commissions                      100        44 Bank-owned life insurance                                565        251 Loan related fees                                        139        110 Net gains on sale of loans held for sale                 138        126 Other                                                    178        41 Other-than-temporary impairment losses on investment     (24)       (58) securities Net gains on sale of investment securities               343        995 Net investment securities gains (losses)                319        937 Total other income                                      1,845      1,955 Other expense                                                       Salaries and employee benefits                           3,490      3,118 Occupancy and equipment                                  906        700 FDIC insurance                                           313        299 Professional and consulting                              219        246 Stationery and printing                                  85         84 Marketing and advertising                                101        31 Computer expense                                         353        353 Other real estate owned, net                             19         62 Other                                                    1,052      914 Total other expense                                     6,538      5,807 Income before income tax expense                         6,677      6,386 Income tax expense                                       1,753      2,155 Net Income                                               4,924      4,231 Preferred stock dividends and accretion                  56         141 Net income available to common stockholders             $ 4,868    $ 4,090 Earnings per common share                                           Basic                                                    $ 0.30     $ 0.25 Diluted                                                  $ 0.30     $ 0.25 Weighted Average Common Shares Outstanding                          Basic                                                    16,348,215 16,332,327 Diluted                                                  16,373,588 16,338,162    CENTER BANCORP, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES SELECTED QUARTERLY FINANCIAL AND STATISTICAL DATA (Unaudited)                                                                                    Three Months Ended (in thousands, except for share and per share data) (annualized where             3/31/2013  12/31/2012 3/31/2012 applicable) Statements of Income Data                                                                                                                 Interest income                           $14,104  $14,263   $13,395 Interest expense                          2,734      2,841      3,050 Net interest income                       11,370     11,422     10,345 Provision for loan losses                 —          100        107 Net interest income after provision for   11,370     11,322     10,238 loan losses Other income                              1,845      1,016      1,955 Other expense                             6,538      6,193      5,807 Income before income tax expense          6,677      6,145      6,386 Income tax expense                       1,753      1,676      2,155 Net income                                $4,924    $4,469    $4,231 Net income available to common            $4,868    $4,441    $4,090 stockholders Earnings per Common Share                                      Basic                                     $0.30     $0.27     $0.25 Diluted                                   $0.30     $0.27     $0.25 Statements of Condition Data (Period-End)                      Investment securities:                                         Available for sale                        $458,004  $496,815  $454,994 Held for maturity( fair value $81,921,    78,212     58,064    69,610 $62,431 and $72,403) Loans held for sale                       774        1,491      2,060 Loans                                     879,387    889,672    788,562 Total assets                              1,609,795  1,629,765  1,476,595 Deposits                                  1,282,223  1,306,922  1,153,473 Borrowings                                151,155    151,155    166,155 Stockholders' equity                      164,753    160,691    142,081 Common Shares Dividend Data                                    Cash dividends                            $899      $899      $490 Cash dividends per share                  $0.055    $0.055    $0.030 Dividend payout ratio                     18.47%     20.24%     11.98% Weighted Average Common Shares                                 Outstanding Basic                                     16,348,215 16,347,564 16,322,327 Diluted                                   16,373,588 16,363,698 16,338,162 Operating Ratios                                               Return on average assets                  1.23%      1.11%      1.16% Return on average equity                  12.09%     11.17%     12.05% Return on average tangible equity         13.49%     12.49%     13.70% Average equity / average assets           10.15%     9.93%      9.61% Book value per common share (period-end)  $9.39     $9.14     $8.01 Tangible book value per common share      $8.36     $8.11    $6.98 (period-end) Non-Financial Information (Period-End)                         Common stockholders of record             536        551        552 Full-time equivalent staff                173        178        170  CONTACT: Investor Inquiries:          Joseph D. Gangemi          Senior Vice President          Investor Relations          908.206.2863                   Media Inquiries :          France Delle Donne          Senior Vice President          Communications & PR          908.206.2668  Center Bancorp, Inc. Logo  
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