Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in OceanFirst Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:OCFC) by 5.3% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 1,151,918 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock after buying an additional 58,418 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc.’s holdings in OceanFirst Financial Corp. were worth $32,455,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of OCFC. Foresters Investment Management Company Inc. increased its position in OceanFirst Financial Corp. by 1.5% in the first quarter. Foresters Investment Management Company Inc. now owns 271,500 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $7,650,000 after buying an additional 4,000 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc increased its position in OceanFirst Financial Corp. by 6.8% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 6,531 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $184,000 after buying an additional 418 shares in the last quarter. Royce & Associates LP increased its position in OceanFirst Financial Corp. by 30.3% in the first quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 86,000 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $2,423,000 after buying an additional 20,000 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its position in OceanFirst Financial Corp. by 13.9% in the first quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 45,054 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $1,269,000 after buying an additional 5,500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC increased its position in OceanFirst Financial Corp. by 14.7% in the first quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 44,235 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $1,246,000 after buying an additional 5,673 shares in the last quarter. 66.76% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

OceanFirst Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:OCFC) traded up 0.20% on Wednesday, reaching $25.65. 6,635 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $26.83 and a 200-day moving average of $27.67. OceanFirst Financial Corp. has a one year low of $18.86 and a one year high of $30.70. The stock has a market cap of $823.93 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.17 and a beta of 0.62.

OceanFirst Financial Corp. announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, April 27th that permits the company to buyback 1,600,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the savings and loans company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 18th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 7th will be paid a dividend of $0.15 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 3rd. This is a positive change from OceanFirst Financial Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.13. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.34%. OceanFirst Financial Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is 51.72%.

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Several research firms recently commented on OCFC. BidaskClub downgraded shares of OceanFirst Financial Corp. from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Monday. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of OceanFirst Financial Corp. from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and set a $32.00 target price on shares of OceanFirst Financial Corp. in a research report on Wednesday, May 3rd.

In other OceanFirst Financial Corp. news, Director Donald E. Mclaughlin sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.74, for a total transaction of $80,220.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Joseph Lebel III sold 10,125 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.39, for a total transaction of $267,198.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 48,175 shares of company stock worth $1,274,196 over the last quarter. Insiders own 11.10% of the company’s stock.

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for OceanFirst Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:OCFC)

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