OceanFirst Financial (NASDAQ:OCFC) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of OceanFirst Financial (NASDAQ:OCFC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Saturday morning, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $26.00 price target on the savings and loans company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “OceanFirst Financial Corp. is a holding company for the OceanFirst Bank. “

OCFC has been the topic of a number of other reports. Seaport Global Securities started coverage on shares of OceanFirst Financial in a research report on Tuesday, March 30th. They issued a buy rating and a $28.00 price target on the stock. TheStreet upgraded shares of OceanFirst Financial from a c rating to a b rating in a research report on Friday, January 29th. Raymond James boosted their price target on shares of OceanFirst Financial from $19.00 to $23.00 and gave the company a strong-buy rating in a research report on Thursday, January 7th. Finally, Boenning Scattergood upgraded shares of OceanFirst Financial from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and set a $24.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, February 1st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. OceanFirst Financial presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $23.67.

NASDAQ:OCFC opened at $22.76 on Friday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $23.72 and its 200-day moving average is $19.92. OceanFirst Financial has a 52-week low of $12.88 and a 52-week high of $25.76. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a current ratio of 0.99. The company has a market cap of $1.34 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.95 and a beta of 0.98.

OceanFirst Financial (NASDAQ:OCFC) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, April 29th. The savings and loans company reported $0.44 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.04. OceanFirst Financial had a net margin of 13.14% and a return on equity of 5.38%. Equities analysts predict that OceanFirst Financial will post 1.2 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 21st. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 10th will be paid a $0.17 dividend. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.99%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 7th. OceanFirst Financial’s dividend payout ratio is currently 32.85%.

In other news, insider Anthony Giordano III sold 1,451 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.11, for a total value of $33,532.61. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CAO Michele B. Estep sold 1,291 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.11, for a total transaction of $29,835.01. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 30,637 shares of company stock valued at $636,721. Corporate insiders own 3.80% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. GW&K Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in OceanFirst Financial by 5,844.9% during the fourth quarter. GW&K Investment Management LLC now owns 1,260,191 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $23,477,000 after acquiring an additional 1,238,993 shares in the last quarter. Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust bought a new position in OceanFirst Financial during the first quarter worth $15,520,000. Emerald Advisers LLC boosted its stake in OceanFirst Financial by 124.6% during the first quarter. Emerald Advisers LLC now owns 910,304 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $21,793,000 after acquiring an additional 505,074 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in OceanFirst Financial by 11.1% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,032,974 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $93,764,000 after acquiring an additional 501,517 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wedge Capital Management L L P NC boosted its stake in OceanFirst Financial by 26.7% during the fourth quarter. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC now owns 532,132 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $9,914,000 after acquiring an additional 112,002 shares in the last quarter. 65.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

OceanFirst Financial Company Profile

OceanFirst Financial Corp. operates as the bank holding company for OceanFirst Bank N.A. that provides community banking services. The company accepts money market accounts, savings accounts, interest-bearing checking accounts, non-interest-bearing demand deposits, and time deposits to retail, government, and business customers.

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Analyst Recommendations for OceanFirst Financial (NASDAQ:OCFC)

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