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Center Bancorp, Inc. Reports Net Income Available to Common Shareholders of $5.1 Million or $0.31 per Share for the Third

Center Bancorp, Inc. Reports Net Income Available to Common Shareholders of $5.1 Million or $0.31 per Share for the Third Quarter of 2013, Representing a 14.5% Increase  UNION, N.J., Oct. 24, 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 third quarter ended September 30, 2013. Net income available to common stockholders amounted to $5.1 million, or $0.31 per fully diluted common share, for the quarter ended September 30, 2013; an increase of $640,000 or approximately 14.5 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 September 30, 2012.  For the nine months ended September 30, 2013, net income available to common stockholders amounted to $14.8 million, or $0.91 per fully diluted common share, compared to $12.8 million, or $0.78 per fully diluted common share, for the same period in 2012.  "Our third quarter earnings remained strong, fueled primarily by top line revenue growth with a continued improvement in our asset quality profile. The continued momentum in expanding our client base and focus within loan segments was evident in growth in the commercial loan sector of $65.0 million from September 30, 2012 to September 30, 2013 against the back drop of total loan growth of $87.5 million over the same period. We achieved solid growth across all principal portions of our business and achieved strong core deposit growth. Our actions, supported by our core earnings performance and strategic growth, created incremental shareholder value," said Anthony C. Weagley, President & Chief Executive Officer of Union Center National Bank.                       Highlights for the quarter include:    oNon-performing assets declined to 0.14 percent of total assets at     September 30, 2013, compared to 0.34 percent at September 30, 2012 and     0.31 percent at December 31, 2012. The allowance for loan losses as a     percentage of total non-performing loans was 501.7 percent at September     30, 2013 compared to 184.9 percent at September 30, 2012 and 278.9 percent     at December 31, 2012.        oThe Tier 1 leverage capital ratio was 9.52 percent at September 30, 2013,     compared to 8.96 percent at September 30, 2012, and 9.02 percent at     December 31, 2012, exceeding regulatory guidelines in all periods.        oTangible book value per common share rose to $8.37 at September 30, 2013,     compared to $7.90 at September 30, 2012 and $8.11 at December 31, 2012.        oThe efficiency ratio for the third quarter of 2013 on an annualized basis     was 45.8 percent as compared to 47.7 percent in the third quarter of 2012     and 46.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.        oDeposits increased $21.3 million to $1.314 billion at September 30, 2013,     from $1.293 billion at September 30, 2012.  Non-performing assets (NPAs) at the end of the third quarter totaled $2.3 million, or 0.14 percent of total assets, as compared with $5.0 million, or 0.31 percent, at December 31, 2012 and $5.5 million, or 0.34 percent, at September 30, 2012.  Selected Financial                                       Ratios (unaudited; annualized                                   where applicable)                                                         As of or for the       9/30/13  6/30/13  3/31/13  12/31/12  9/30/12 quarter ended: Return on average      1.23%    1.22%    1.23%    1.11%     1.13% assets Return on average      12.53%   11.84%   12.09%   11.17%    11.67% equity Net interest margin    3.31%    3.28%    3.31%    3.32%     3.28% (tax equivalent basis) Loans / deposits ratio 72.85%   70.48%   68.58%   68.07%    67.28% Stockholders' equity / 10.04%   10.04%   10.23%   9.86%     9.75% total assets Efficiency ratio (1)   45.8%    47.0%    48.5%    46.9%     47.7% Book value per common  $ 9.40  $ 9.17  $ 9.39  $ 9.14   $ 8.93 share Return on average      13.98%   13.17%   13.49%   12.49%    13.12% tangible equity (1) Tangible common stockholders' equity / 8.42%    8.38%    8.58%    8.22%     8.09% tangible assets (1) Tangible book value    $ 8.37  $ 8.14   $ 8.36   $ 8.11    $ 7.90 per common 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 September 30, 2013, total interest income on a fully taxable equivalent basis increased $617,000 or 4.2 percent, to $15.2 million, compared to the three months ended September 30, 2012. Total interest expense decreased by $116,000, or 4.0 percent, to $2.8 million, for the three months ended September 30, 2013, compared to the same period last year. Net interest income on a fully taxable equivalent basis was $12.4 million for the three months ended September 30, 2013, increasing $733,000, or 6.3 percent, from $11.7 million for the comparable period in 2012. Compared to 2012, for the three months ended September 30, 2013, average interest earning assets increased $75.5 million while net interest spread was at 3.15 percent for both periods. For the quarter ended September 30, 2013, the Corporation's net interest margin on a fully taxable equivalent annualized basis increased to 3.31 percent as compared to 3.28 percent for the same three month period in 2012.  The 4.0 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 4 basis points to 0.91 percent from 0.95 percent for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 and on a linked sequential quarter stayed the same compared to the second quarter of 2013.  For the nine months ended September 30, 2013, net interest income on a fully taxable equivalent basis amounted to $36.2 million, compared to $33.4 million for the same period in 2012. For the nine month period ended September 30, 2013, interest income increased by $2.1 million while interest expense decreased by $631,000 from the same period last year. Compared to the same period in 2012, for the nine months ended September 30, 2013, average interest earning assets increased $117.5 million while net interest spread and margin decreased on an annualized tax-equivalent basis by 4 basis points and 2 basis points, respectively.  Earnings Summary for the Period Ended September 30, 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 9/30/13    6/30/13    3/31/13    12/31/12   9/30/12 ended: Net interest    $ 11,722   $ 11,228   $ 11,370   $ 11,422   $ 11,183 income Provision for   —          —          —          100        225 loan losses Net interest income          11,722     11,228     11,370     11,322     10,958 afterprovision for loan losses Other income   1,543      1,707      1,845      1,016      2,635 Other expense   6,205      6,076      6,538      6,193      7,507 Income before income tax      7,060      6,859      6,677      6,145      6,086 expense Income tax      1,966      1,936      1,753      1,676      1,632 expense Net income      $ 5,094    $ 4,923    $ 4,924    $ 4,469    $ 4,454 Net income available to    $ 5,066    $ 4,895    $ 4,868    $ 4,441    $ 4,426 common stockholders Earnings per                                             common share: Basic           $ 0.31     $ 0.30     $ 0.30     $ 0.27     $ 0.27 Diluted         $ 0.31     $ 0.30     $ 0.30     $ 0.27     $ 0.27 Weighted average common                                           shares outstanding: Basic           16,349,480 16,348,915 16,348,215 16,347,564 16,347,088 Diluted         16,385,155 16,375,774 16,373,588 16,363,698 16,362,635  Other Income  Other income decreased $1.1 million for the third quarter of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012.During the third quarter of 2013, the Corporation recorded net investment securities gains of $343,000 compared to $763,000 in net investment securities gains for the same period last year. Excluding net securities gains, the Corporation recorded other income of $1.2 million for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to other income, excluding net securities gains and a bargain gain on acquisition, of $973,000 for the third quarter of 2012 and $1.2 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012. Increases in other income in the third quarter of 2013 when compared to the third quarter of 2012 (excluding securities gains and a bargain gain on acquisition) were primarily from an increase of $208,000 in loan related fees , an increase of $23,000 in service charges on deposit accounts, an increase in bank owned life insurance income of $26,000, and an increase of $47,000 in annuities and insurance commissions, offset in part by a decline of $58,000 in net gain on sale of loans held for sale, and $20,000 in other fees.  For the nine months ended September 30, 2013, total other income decreased $1.1 million compared to the same period in 2012, primarily as a result of $951,000 related to lower net securities gains and $899,000 relating to a bargain gain on acquisition in the prior period, offset in part by increased income on bank owned life insurance, annuities and loan fees. Excluding net securities gains and losses, the Corporation recorded other income of $3.8 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2013 compared to other income, excluding net securities gains and losses and bargain gain on acquisition, of $3.1 million for the comparable period in 2012, representing an increase of $750,000 or 24.3 percent.  The following table presents the components of other income for the periods indicated.  (in thousands, unaudited)                                                 For the quarter ended:      9/30/13 6/30/13 3/31/13 12/31/12 9/30/12 Service charges on deposit  $356   $318   $289   $324    $333 accounts Loan related fees           297     114     139     220      89 Net gains on sales of loans 26      91      138     170      84 held for sale Annuities and insurance     92      146     100     67       45 commissions Debit card and ATM fees     127     133     117     125      126 Bank-owned life insurance   265     274     565     282      239 Net investment securities   343     600     319     (201)    763 gains (losses) Bargain gain on acquisition —       —       —       —        899 Other fees                  37      31      178     29       57 Total other income          $1,543 $1,707 $1,845 $1,016  $2,635  Other Expense  Total other expense for the third quarter of 2013 amounted to $6.2 million, which was approximately $129,000 or 2.1 percent higher than other expense for the three months ended June 30, 2013, primarily related to an increase in professional and consulting expense , which increased $122,000. Other increases contributing to the increase in operating overhead included FDIC insurance of $75,000, marketing and advertising of $32,000, occupancy and equipment of $28,000 and all other expense of $57,000. These increases were partially offset by decreases in other real estate owned expense of $100,000, stationery and printing expense of $16,000, and salaries and employee benefits expenses of $88,000.  The increase in other expense for the three months ended September 30, 2013, when compared to the quarter ended September 30, 2012, excluding repurchase agreement prepayment and termination fee and acquisition cost, was approximately $182,000. Increases primarily included salaries and benefit expense of $54,000, occupancy and equipment expense of $100,000, professional and consulting expense of $75,000, marketing and advertising expense of $30,000, bank regulatory related expenses of $9,000, and postage and delivery expense of $16,000. These increases were partially offset by decreases of $7,000 in stationery and printing, $4,000 in computer expense, $9,000 in FDIC insurance expense, $58,000 in other real estate owned expense, and $22,000 in all other expense.  For the nine months ended September 30, 2013, total other expense decreased $185,000, or 1.0 percent, compared to the same period in 2012. Excluding the repurchase agreement prepayment and termination fee and acquisition cost recognized in 2012, total other expense increased $1.3 million or 7.4 percent. Increases primarily included $706,000 in salaries and employee benefits, $511,000 in occupancy and equipment, $106,000 in marketing and advertising, and $112,000 in other expenses. The increases resulted from operating the Saddle River, Oakland and Englewood branches for the nine months of 2013 and opening of the Princeton branch in the second quarter of 2013. These increases were partially offset by decreases in FDIC insurance expense of $57,000, professional consulting expense of $16,000, stationery and printing expense of $24,000, and computer expense of $23,000, and other real estate owned expense of $16,000.  The following table presents the components of other expense for the periods indicated.  (in thousands, unaudited)                                                   For the quarter ended:         9/30/13 6/30/13 3/31/13  12/31/12 9/30/12 Salaries                       $ 2,532 $ 2,652 $ 2,653  $ 2,495  $ 2,505 Employee benefits              715     683     837      710      688 Occupancy and equipment        839     811     906      942      739 Professional and consulting    352     230     219      260      277 Stationery and printing        62      78      85       100      69 FDIC Insurance                 283     208     313      293      292 Marketing and advertising      94      62      101      35       64 Computer expense               362     343     353      338      366 Bank regulatory related        86      82      90       82       77 expenses Postage and delivery           71      70      56       61       55 ATM related expenses           66      65      71       72       64 Other real estate owned, net   7       107     19       1        65 Amortization of core deposit   6       8       10       10       10 intangible Repurchase agreement           —       —       —        —        1,012 prepayment and termination fee Acquisition cost               —       —       —        10       472 All other expenses             730     677     825      784      752 Total other expense            $ 6,205 $ 6,076 $ 6,538 $ 6,193  $ 7,507  Statement of Condition Highlights at September 30, 2013  Commenting on the balance sheet, Mr. Weagley indicated: "We strengthened our balance sheet during the third quarter, ending the third quarter with a strong Tier 1 ratio of 9.52 percent, up from 9.50 percent in the second quarter, and 8.96 percent at September 30, 2012. We also continue to see positive signs for growth coupled with sustained asset quality." Highlights as of September 30, 2013 included:    oContinued balance sheet strength, with total assets amounting to $1.6     billion at September 30, 2013.        oTotal loans were $957.5 million at September 30, 2013, increasing $87.5     million, or 10.1 percent, from September 30, 2012.Total real estate loans     increased $22.3 million, or 3.6 percent, from September 30, 2012.     Commercial loans increased $65.0 million, or 26.8 percent, year over year.        oDeposits totaled $1.314 billion at September 30, 2013, increasing $21.3     million, or 1.6 percent, since September 30, 2012.Total Demand, Savings,     Money Market, and certificates of deposit less than $100,000 increased     $31.3 million or 2.7 percent from September 30, 2012. The increases     reflect continued core deposit growth.        oBorrowings totaled $151.2 million at September 30, 2013 and September 30,     2012, respectively.  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    9/30/13     6/30/13     3/31/13     12/31/12    9/30/12 ended: Cash and due  $33,557    $ 61,959   $116,755   $104,134   $100,106 from banks Interest bearing       —           —           —           2,004       2,002 deposits with banks Investment                                                 securities: Available for 413,147     419,773     458,004     496,815     509,605 sale Held to       153,486     136,786     78,212      58,064      56,503 maturity Loans held for sale, at  101         585         774         1,491       1,055 fair value Loans         957,492     902,822     879,387     889,672     869,998 Allowance for (10,194)    (10,202)    (10,232)    (10,237)    (10,240) loan losses Restricted investment in 8,986       8,986       8,966       8,964       8,964 bank stocks, at cost Premises and equipment,    13,472      13,456      13,544      13,563      13,564 net Goodwill      16,804      16,804      16,804      16,804      16,804 Core deposit  30          36          45          54          64 intangible Bank-owned life          35,474      35,209      34,935      34,961      29,679 insurance Other real    220         220         1,536       1,300       — estate owned Other assets  21,841      19,264      11,065      12,176      13,975 Total assets $1,644,416 $1,605,698 $1,609,795 $1,629,765 $1,612,079 Deposits      $1,314,317 $1,280,894 $1,282,223 $1,306,922 $1,293,013 Borrowings    151,155     151,155     151,155     151,155     151,205 Other         13,806      12,364      11,664      10,997      10,676 liabilities Stockholders' 165,138     161,285     164,753     160,691     157,185 equity Total liabilities and           $1,644,416 $1,605,698 $1,609,795 $1,629,765 $1,612,079 stockholders' equity  The following table reflects the composition of the Corporation's deposits as of the dates indicated.  Deposits (unaudited)                                                              (in thousands)                                                                    At quarter       9/30/13     6/30/13     3/31/13     12/31/12    9/30/12 ended: Demand:                                                       Non-interest     $238,214   $219,669   $213,794   $215,071   $192,321 bearing Interest-bearing 231,390     195,954     207,427     217,922     222,660 Savings          186,194     221,271     221,274     216,274     218,732 Money market     505,490     493,155     488,124     493,836     488,189 Time             153,029     150,845     151,604     163,819     171,111 Total deposits   $1,314,317 $1,280,894 $1,282,223 $1,306,922 $1,293,013  Loans  Total loans rose to$957 million at September 30, 2013.Mr. Weagley commented: "I continue to be extremely pleased with our success in generating solid lending growth. Outstanding loan balances increased while at the same time lending opportunities continued to fuel the Corporation's robust pipelines. We expect such volume to continue to increase in future periods," added Mr. Weagley.  The Corporation's net loans in the third quarter of 2013 increased $54.7 million, to $947.3 million at September 30, 2013, from $892.6 million at June 30, 2013.The allowance for loan losses amounted to $10.2 million at both September 30, 2013 and June 30, 2013.The loan growth during the period resulted from approximately $108.9 million in new loans and advances during the third quarter.This growth was offset in part by prepayments of $16.7 million coupled with scheduled payments, maturities and payoffs of $38.0 million. Average loans during the third quarter of 2013 totaled $921.5 million as compared to $850.1 million during the third quarter of 2012, representing an 8.4 percent increase.  At the end of the third 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 32.1 percent of the loan portfolio, commercial real estate loans representing 48.5 percent of the loan portfolio, and consumer and other loans representing 14.9 percent of the loan portfolio. Construction and development loans accounted for only 4.5 percent of the loan portfolio.The loan volume increase within the portfolio compared to September 30, 2012, amounted to $104.8 million in commercial and commercial real estate loans and $1.9 million in construction loans, offset by a decrease of $19.3 million in residential mortgage loans. At September 30, 2012, net loans totaled $859.8 million.  The following reflects the composition of the Corporation's loan portfolio as of the dates indicated.  Loans (unaudited)                                                 (in thousands)                                                    At quarter ended:            9/30/13   6/30/13   3/31/13   12/31/12  9/30/12 Real estate loans:                                                Residential                  $ 142,744 $ 142,772 $ 145,228 $ 158,361 $ 162,070 Commercial                   464,374   443,441   431,771   428,673   424,574 Construction                 42,727    38,565    35,166    40,272    40,867 Total real estate loans      649,845   624,778   612,165   627,306   627,511 Commercial loans             306,974   277,734   266,762   261,791   242,008 Consumer and other loans     517       147       326       452       324 Total loans before deferred  957,336   902,659   879,253   889,549   869,843 fees and costs Deferred costs, net          156       163       134       123       155 Total loans                  $ 957,492 $ 902,822 $ 879,387 $ 889,672 $ 869,998  At September 30, 2013, the Corporation had $196.0 million in overall undisbursed loan commitments, which consisted primarily of 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 $44.9 million in commercial and commercial real estate loans and $2.3 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 $2.5 million at June 30, 2013 and to $2.0 million at September 30, 2013. Other real estate owned was $220,000 at June 30, 2013 and September 30, 2013, as compared with $1.3 million at December 31, 2012. Troubled debt restructured loans, which are performing loans, significantly decreased to $1.66 million at September 30, 2013 from $6.81 million at December 31, 2012 and $2.59 million at June 30, 2013, respectively.  At September 30, 2013, non-performing assets totaled $2.3 million, or 0.14 percent of total assets, as compared with $5.5 million, or 0.34 percent, at September 30, 2012 and $5.0 million, or 0.31 percent, at December 31, 2012. The decrease from September 30, 2012 reflects the Corporation's ability to satisfactorily work out certain problem loans. The largest component of the remaining non-accrual loans is comprised of one relationship totaling $618,000 of the total, secured by a senior lien on a residential property, located in Morris County, New Jersey. This loan has been restructured, and is being monitored for performance under the terms and conditions of the restructured agreement. The remaining loans are primarily residential properties and are in the process of being worked out.  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  9/30/13    6/30/13    3/31/13    12/31/12   9/30/12 quarter ended: Non-accrual loans $ 2,032    $ 2,508    $ 2,565    $ 3,616    $ 4,967 (1) Loans 90 days or more past due and —          53         54         55         570 still accruing Total non-performing    2,032      2,561      2,619      3,671      5,537 loans Other real estate 220        220        1,536      1,300      — owned Total non-performing    $ 2,252    $ 2,781   $ 4,155    $ 4,971    $ 5,537 assets Performing troubled debt     $ 1,658    $ 2,585    $ 6,786    $ 6,813    $ 6,851 restructured loans                                                           Non-performing assets / total    0.14%      0.17%      0.26%      0.31%      0.34% assets Non-performing loans / total     0.21%      0.28%      0.30%      0.41%      0.64% loans Net charge-offs   $ 8        $ 30      $ 5        $ 103      $ 206 (recoveries) Net charge-offs (recoveries) /    N/M        0.01%      N/M        0.05%      0.10% average loans (2) Allowance for loan losses /     1.06%      1.13%      1.16%      1.15%      1.18% total loans Allowance for loan losses /     501.7%     398.4%     390.7%     278.9%     184.9% non-performing loans                                                           Total assets      $1,644,416 $1,605,698 $1,609,795 $1,629,765 $1,612,079 Total loans       957,492    902,822    879,387    889,672    869,998 Average loans     921,523    888,175    873,916    864,829    850,059 Allowance for     10,194     10,202     10,232     10,237     10,240 loan losses _________________                                          (1) 7 loans totaling $1.4 million or (69.0%) of the total non-accrual        loan balance are making payments. (2) Annualized.                                                                                                                        N/M – not meaningful                                                           The allowance for loan losses at September 30, 2013 amounted to approximately $10.2 million, or 1.06 percent of total loans, compared to 1.18 percent of total loans at September 30, 2012. Excluding loans acquired from Saddle River Valley Bank and carried at fair value, the coverage ratio was 1.11 percent, compared to 1.25 percent of total loans at September 30, 2012. The allowance for loan losses as a percentage of total non-performing loans was 501.7 percent at September 30, 2013 compared to 184.9 percent at September 30, 2012.  Capital  At September 30, 2013, total stockholders' equity amounted to $165.1 million, or 10.04 percent of total assets. Tangible common stockholders' equity was $137.1 million, or 8.42 percent of tangible assets, compared to 8.09 percent at September 30, 2012. Book value per common share was $9.40 at September 30, 2013, compared to $8.93 at September 30, 2012. Tangible book value per common share was $8.37 at September 30, 2013 compared to $7.90 at September 30, 2012.  At September 30, 2013, the Corporation's Tier 1 leverage capital ratio was 9.52 percent, the Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio was 11.70 percent and the total risk-based capital ratio was 12.49 percent. Tier 1 capital increased $15.5 million to approximately $155.7 million at September 30, 2013 from $140.2 million at September 30, 2012, reflecting an increase in retained earnings.  At September 30, 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    9/30/13   6/30/13   3/31/13   12/31/12  9/30/12 ended: Net income         $5,094   $4,923   $4,924   $4,469   $4,454 Average stockholders'      $ 162,557 $ 166,385 $ 162,853 $ 160,006 $ 152,686 equity Less: Average goodwill   16,838    16,845    16,855    16,864    16,874 and other intangible assets Average tangible stockholders'      $145,719 $149,540 $145,998 $143,142 $135,812 equity                                                        Return on average stockholders'      12.53%    11.84%    12.09%    11.17%    11.67% equity Add: Average goodwill   1.45%     1.33%     1.40%     1.32%     1.45% and other intangible assets Return on average tangible           13.98%    13.17%    13.49%    12.49%    13.12% 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:       9/30/13    6/30/13    3/31/13    12/31/12   9/30/12 Common shares           16,369,012 16,367,744 16,348,915 16,347,915 16,347,088 outstanding Stockholders' equity    $165,138  $161,285  $164,753  $160,691  $157,185 Less: Preferred stock   11,250     11,250     11,250     11,250     11,250 Less: Goodwill and      16,834     16,840     16,849     16,858     16,868 other intangible assets Tangible common         $137,054  $133,195  $136,654  $132,583  $129,067 stockholders' equity                                                                 Book value per common   $9.40     $9.17     $9.39     $9.14     $8.93 share Less: Goodwill and      1.03       1.03       1.03       1.03       1.03 other intangible assets Tangible book value per $8.37    $8.14     $8.36     $8.11     $7.90 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    9/30/13    6/30/13    3/31/13    12/31/12   9/30/12 ended: Total assets  $1,644,416 $1,605,698 $1,609,795 $1,629,765 $1,612,079 Less: Goodwill and other         16,834     16,840     16,849     16,858     16,868 intangible assets Tangible      $1,627,582 $1,588,858 $1,592,946 $1,612,907 $1,595,211 assets                                                       Total stockholders' 10.04%     10.04%     10.23%     9.86%      9.75% equity / total assets Tangible common stockholders' 8.42%      8.38%      8.58%      8.22%      8.09% equity / tangible assets  Other income is presented in the table below including and excluding net gains and bargain gain on acquisition. We believe that many investors desire to evaluate other income without regard for such gains.  (in thousands)                                                            For the quarter ended:      9/30/13 6/30/13 3/31/13 12/31/12 9/30/12 Other income                $1,543 $1,707 $1,845 $1,016  $2,635 Less: Net investment        343     600     319     (201)    763 securities gains (losses) Less: Bargain gain on       —       —       —       —        899 acquisition Other income, excluding net investment securities gains $1,200 $1,107 $1,526 $1,217  $973 ( 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 and bargain gain on acquisition, calculated as follows:  (dollars in thousands)                                                    For the quarter ended:  9/30/13  6/30/13  3/31/13  12/31/12 9/30/12 Other expense           $6,205  $6,076  $6,538  $6,193  $7,507 Less: Repurchase agreement termination   —        —        —        —        1,012 fee Less: Acquisition cost  —        —        —        10       472 Other expense, excluding extraordinary $6,205  $6,076  $6,538  $6,183  $6,023 items                                                         Net interest income     $12,342 $11,810 $11,950 $11,969 $11,663 (tax equivalent basis) Other income, excluding net investment          1,200    1,107    1,526    1,217    973 securities gains Total                  $13,542 $12,917 $13,476 $13,186 $12,636                                                         Efficiency ratio        45.8%    47.0%    48.5%    46.9%    47.7%  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  9/30/13     6/30/13     3/31/13     12/31/12    9/30/12 ended: Investment                                                    securities Available for    $426,870   $457,484   $503,223   $517,179   $508,864 sale Held to maturity 150,087    95,163    65,378     58,929     60,275 Loans            921,523    888,175     873,916     864,829     850,059 Allowance for    (10,200)    (10,214)    (10,229)    (10,188)    (10,197) loan losses All other assets 163,732    183,894     171,703     181,306     172,032 Total assets     $1,652,012 $1,614,502 $1,603,991 $1,612,055 $1,581,033 Non-interest     $238,194   $219,965   $212,860   $205,278   $183,858 bearing deposits Interest-bearing 1,086,757  1,059,552   1,061,261   1,079,351   1,066,849 deposits Borrowings       151,753    151,924     151,488     151,364     164,294 Other            12,751     16,676      15,529      16,056      13,346 liabilities Stockholders'    162,557    166,385     162,853     160,006     152,686 equity Total liabilities and  $1,652,012 $1,614,502 $1,603,991 $1,612,055 $1,581,033 stockholders' 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 16 banking locations in Bergen, Mercer, Morris and Union 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, Princeton and Summit, New Jersey.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 positive signs for growth and expectations regarding loan volume growth) 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  September 30, 2013 December 31, 2012 share data)                                         (Unaudited)         ASSETS                                                      Cash and due from banks                  $33,557          $104,134 Interest bearing deposits with banks     —                  2,004 Total cash and cash equivalents          33,557             106,138 Investment securities:                                      Available for sale                       413,147            496,815 Held to maturity (fair value of $152,008 at September 30, 2013 and $62,431        153,486            58,064 atDecember 31, 2012) Loans held for sale                      101                1,491 Loans                                    957,492            889,672 Less: Allowance for loan losses          10,194             10,237 Net loans                                947,298            879,435 Restricted investment in bank stocks, at 8,986              8,964 cost Premises and equipment, net              13,472             13,563 Accrued interest receivable              6,570              6,849 Bank-owned life insurance                35,474             34,961 Goodwill                                 16,804             16,804 Prepaid FDIC assessments                 —                  811 Other real estate owned                  220                1,300 Due from brokers for investment          2,983              — securities Other assets                             12,318             4,570 Total assets                             $1,644,416       $ 1,629,765 LIABILITIES                                                 Deposits:                                                   Non-interest bearing                     $238,214         $215,071 Interest-bearing:                                           Time deposits $100 and over              104,398            110,835 Interest-bearing transaction, savings    971,705            981,016 and time deposits less than $100 Total deposits                           1,314,317          1,306,922 Long-term borrowings                     146,000            146,000 Subordinated debentures                  5,155              5,155 Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 13,806             10,997 Total liabilities                        1,479,278          1,469,074 STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY                                        Preferred stock, $1,000 liquidation value per share, authorized 5,000,000 shares; issued and outstanding 11,250    11,250             11,250 shares of Series B preferred stock at September 30, 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 September 30, 2013 andDecember 31, 2012; outstanding       110,056            110,056 16,369,012 shares at September 30, 2013 and 16,347,915 shares at December 31, 2012 Additional paid in capital               4,952              4,801 Retained earnings                        58,191             46,753 Treasury stock, at cost (2,108,400 common shares at September 30, 2013 and  (17,078)           (17,232) 2,129,497 common shares December 31, 2012) Accumulated other comprehensive income   (2,233)            5,063 Total stockholders' equity               165,138            160,691 Total liabilities and stockholders'      $1,644,416       $ 1,629,765 equity   CENTER BANCORP, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME (Unaudited)                                                                                                    Three Months Ended    Nine Months Ended                                    September 30,         September 30, (in thousands, except for share    2013       2012       2013       2012 and per share data)                                                                  Interest income                                                   Interest and fees on loans         $10,148  $10,039  $29,963  $28,838 Interest and dividends on                                         investment securities: Taxable                            3,116      3,047      8,973      9,247 Tax-exempt                         1,151      892        3,308      2,491 Dividends                          126        137        378        426 Interest on federal funds sold and —          3          2          7 other short-term investment Total interest income              14,541     14,118     42,624     41,009 Interest expense                                                  Interest on certificates of        206        203        665        637 deposit $100 or more Interest on other deposits         1,124      1,124      3,232      3,406 Interest on borrowings             1,489      1,608      4,407      4,892 Total interest expense             2,819      2,935      8,304      8,935 Net interest income                11,722     11,183     34,320     32,074 Provision for loan losses          —          225        —          225 Net interest income after          11,722     10,958     34,320     31,849 provision for loan losses Other income                                                      Service charges, commissions and   483        459        1,340      1,326 fees Annuities and insurance            92         45         338        137 commissions Bank-owned life insurance          265        239        1,104      736 Loan related fees                  297        89         550        291 Net gains on sale of loans held    26         84         255        313 for sale Bargain gain on acquisition        —          899        —          899 Other                              37         57         246        279 Other-than-temporary impairment    —          (134)      (24)       (332) losses on investment securities Net gains on sale of investment    343        897        1,286      2,545 securities Net investment securities gains    343        763        1,262      2,213 (losses) Total other income                1,543      2,635      5,095      6,194 Other expense                                                     Salaries and employee benefits     3,247      3,193      10,072     9,366 Occupancy and equipment            839        739        2,556      2,045 FDIC insurance                     283        292        804        861 Professional and consulting        352        277        801        817 Stationery and printing            62         69         225        249 Marketing and advertising          94         64         257        151 Computer expense                   362        366        1,058      1,081 Other real estate owned, net       7          65         133        149 Repurchase agreement termination   —          1,012      —          1,012 fee Acquisition cost                   —          472        —          472 Other                              959        958        2,913      2,801 Total other expense                6,205      7,507      18,819     19,004 Income before income tax expense  7,060      6,086      20,596     19,039 Income tax expense                1,966      1,632      5,655      6,001 Net Income                         5,094      4,454      14,941     13,038 Preferred stock dividends and      28         28         112        253 accretion Net income available to common     $5,066   $4,426   $14,829  $12,785 stockholders Earnings per common share                                         Basic                              $0.31    $0.27    $0.91    $0.78 Diluted                            $0.31    $0.27    $0.91    $0.78 Weighted Average Common Shares                                    Outstanding Basic                              16,349,480 16,347,088 16,348,875 16,337,724 Diluted                            16,385,155 16,362,635 16,380,970 16,346,739   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             9/30/2013  6/30/2013  9/30/2012 applicable)                                                               Statements of Income Data                                                   Interest income                          $ 14,541   $ 13,979   $ 14,118 Interest expense                          2,819      2,751      2,935 Net interest income                      11,722     11,228     11,183 Provision for loan losses                 —          —          225 Net interest income after provision for   11,722     11,228     10,958 loan losses Other income                              1,543      1,707      2,635 Other expense                             6,205      6,076      7,507 Income before income tax expense         7,060      6,859      6,086 Income tax expense                       1,966      1,936      1,632 Net income                                $ 5,094    $ 4,923    $ 4,454 Net income available to common            $ 5,066    $ 4,895    $ 4,426 stockholders Earnings per Common Share                                      Basic                                     $ 0.31     $ 0.30     $ 0.27 Diluted                                   $ 0.31     $ 0.30     $ 0.27 Statements of Condition Data (Period-End)                      Investment securities:                                         Available for sale                        $ 413,147  $ 419,773  $ 509,605 Held for maturity (fair value $152,008,   153,486    136,786    56,503 $135,354 and $60,946) Loans held for sale                       101        585        1,055 Loans                                     957,492    902,822    869,998 Total assets                              1,644,416  1,605,698  1,612,079 Deposits                                  1,314,317  1,280,894  1,293,013 Borrowings                                151,155    151,155    151,205 Stockholders' equity                      165,138    161,285    157,185 Common Shares Dividend Data                                   Cash dividends                            $ 1,226    $ 899      $ 899 Cash dividends per share                 $ 0.075    $ 0.055    $ 0.055 Dividend payout ratio                     24.20%     18.37%     20.31% Weighted Average Common Shares                                 Outstanding Basic                                     16,349,480 16,348,915 16,347,088 Diluted                                   16,385,155 16,375,774 16,362,635 Operating Ratios                                               Return on average assets                  1.23%      1.22%      1.13% Return on average equity                  12.53%     11.84%     11.67% Return on average tangible equity         13.98%     13.17%     13.12% Average equity / average assets           9.84%      10.31%     9.66% Book value per common share (period-end)  $ 9.40     $ 9.17     $ 8.93 Tangible book value per common share      $ 8.37     $ 8.14     $ 7.90 (period-end) Non-Financial Information (Period-End)                         Common stockholders of record             522        530        554 Full-time equivalent staff                169        171        174  CONTACT: Investor Inquiries:          Joseph D. Gangemi          Senior Vice President          Investor Relations          (908) 206-2863                   France Delle Donne          Senior Vice President          Director of Communications & PR          (908) 206-2668  Center Bancorp, Inc. Logo  
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