Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of OceanFirst Financial (NASDAQ:OCFC) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning.

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

A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of OceanFirst Financial from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Thursday, October 11th. ValuEngine lowered shares of OceanFirst Financial from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Thursday, September 27th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $34.00.

Shares of OCFC stock traded up $0.60 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $25.19. The stock had a trading volume of 11,753 shares, compared to its average volume of 208,498. OceanFirst Financial has a one year low of $23.97 and a one year high of $30.90. The company has a current ratio of 0.97, a quick ratio of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.23 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.82, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.27 and a beta of 0.56.

OceanFirst Financial (NASDAQ:OCFC) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The savings and loans company reported $0.53 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by ($0.02). OceanFirst Financial had a return on equity of 9.09% and a net margin of 19.35%. The firm had revenue of $69.79 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $74.31 million. As a group, research analysts predict that OceanFirst Financial will post 2.01 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 16th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 5th will be issued a $0.17 dividend. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.70%. This is a positive change from OceanFirst Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.13. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 2nd. OceanFirst Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 40.00%.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. SG Americas Securities LLC boosted its stake in OceanFirst Financial by 51.4% during the second quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 6,159 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $185,000 after buying an additional 2,092 shares in the last quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC raised its holdings in OceanFirst Financial by 13.4% during the 2nd quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC now owns 22,048 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $661,000 after purchasing an additional 2,605 shares during the last quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY raised its holdings in OceanFirst Financial by 28.9% during the 2nd quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 15,570 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $466,000 after purchasing an additional 3,488 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its holdings in OceanFirst Financial by 5.2% during the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 77,307 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $2,104,000 after purchasing an additional 3,810 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Sei Investments Co. raised its holdings in OceanFirst Financial by 145.7% during the 2nd quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 9,326 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $280,000 after purchasing an additional 5,530 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.55% of the company’s stock.

About OceanFirst Financial

OceanFirst Financial Corp. operates as the holding company for OceanFirst Bank N.A. that provides a range of community banking services. The company offers various deposit products to retail, government, and business customers, including money market accounts, savings accounts, interest-bearing checking accounts, non-interest-bearing accounts, and time deposits.

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