OceanFirst Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:OCFC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday. The brokerage currently has a $27.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target indicates a potential upside of 13.83% from the stock’s previous close.

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

OceanFirst Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:OCFC) opened at 23.72 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $603.29 million, a PE ratio of 22.17 and a beta of 0.51. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $21.02 and its 200 day moving average is $19.36. OceanFirst Financial Corp. has a 52 week low of $15.98 and a 52 week high of $24.07.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 18th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 7th were given a $0.15 dividend. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.53%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 3rd. This is a boost from OceanFirst Financial Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.13. OceanFirst Financial Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 56.08%.

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In other news, CAO Joseph R. Iantosca sold 2,700 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.90, for a total value of $56,430.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. 11.10% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in OceanFirst Financial Corp. by 41.4% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 130,513 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,371,000 after buying an additional 38,189 shares during the last quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System boosted its stake in OceanFirst Financial Corp. by 51.0% in the second quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 42,904 shares of the company’s stock worth $780,000 after buying an additional 14,500 shares during the last quarter. Hanlon Investment Management Inc. purchased a new stake in OceanFirst Financial Corp. during the second quarter worth approximately $1,532,000. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. purchased a new stake in OceanFirst Financial Corp. during the second quarter worth approximately $357,000. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its stake in OceanFirst Financial Corp. by 27.8% in the second quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 46,457 shares of the company’s stock worth $844,000 after buying an additional 10,104 shares during the last quarter. 68.05% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About OceanFirst Financial Corp.

OceanFirst Financial Corp. is a holding company for OceanFirst Bank (the Bank). The Company is a savings and loan holding company. The Bank’s principal business is attracting retail and business deposits in the communities surrounding its branch offices and investing those deposits primarily in loans, consisting of single-family, owner-occupied residential mortgage loans, and commercial real estate and other commercial loans.

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