Center Bancorp, Inc. (CNOB) Stake Raised by BlackRock Inc.

BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Center Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:CNOB) by 7.7% during the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 1,776,531 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 126,850 shares during the quarter. BlackRock Inc. owned approximately 0.06% of Center Bancorp worth $45,746,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Private Advisor Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Center Bancorp in the 4th quarter valued at $258,000. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL acquired a new stake in shares of Center Bancorp in the 3rd quarter valued at $293,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in shares of Center Bancorp by 32.7% in the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 47,336 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,164,000 after purchasing an additional 11,670 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in shares of Center Bancorp by 9.1% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,479,571 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $36,397,000 after purchasing an additional 123,487 shares in the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. acquired a new stake in shares of Center Bancorp in the 3rd quarter valued at $1,002,000. Institutional investors own 66.50% of the company’s stock.

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Several equities research analysts have recently commented on the stock. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Center Bancorp from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Center Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $36.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, March 13th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “buy” rating and issued a $36.00 target price on shares of Center Bancorp in a research note on Tuesday, February 27th. Raymond James Financial lifted their price target on Center Bancorp from $33.00 to $34.00 and gave the company a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 3rd. Finally, ValuEngine cut Center Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Center Bancorp currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $34.13.

In related news, COO Christopher J. Ewing sold 1,375 shares of Center Bancorp stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.05, for a total value of $39,943.75. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CFO William S. Burns sold 941 shares of Center Bancorp stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.60, for a total value of $26,912.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 53,204 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,521,634.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 12,377 shares of company stock valued at $359,186 over the last ninety days. 7.63% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Center Bancorp stock opened at $28.60 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.28, a current ratio of 1.13 and a quick ratio of 1.13. Center Bancorp, Inc. has a 12-month low of $21.04 and a 12-month high of $31.40. The stock has a market capitalization of $936.50, a P/E ratio of 16.34 and a beta of 1.04.

Center Bancorp (NASDAQ:CNOB) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.11. Center Bancorp had a return on equity of 10.22% and a net margin of 22.80%. The business had revenue of $41.83 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $39.55 million. sell-side analysts predict that Center Bancorp, Inc. will post 2.21 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

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About Center Bancorp

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

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Center Bancorp (NASDAQ:CNOB)

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