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Middlefield Banc (MBCN) Reinstates & Increases ShareBuyback

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Middlefield Banc Corp. (MBCN - Free Report) reinstated its share-repurchase program, which was originally announced in April 2019. The buyback plan had been suspended in the first quarter of 2020 in the wake of business disruptions stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

At the time of suspension of the program, the company had repurchased 157,032 shares under the 300,000-share repurchase authorization.

On Nov 9, 2020, the company approved an increase to the program by an additional 157,032 shares for a total of 300,000 shares. Per the program, management is authorized to repurchase up to 4.7% of the company's 6,378,960 outstanding shares as of Nov 3, 2020.

Thomas G. Caldwell, president and chief executive officer of Middlefield Banc, stated,“We entered the COVID-19 crisis with favorable asset quality and strong capital levels, and we believe our stock is trading at a compelling valuation. This share repurchase program demonstrates our confidence in the strength of our business and our continued commitment to delivering value to our shareholders.”

Middlefield Banc has also been paying out regular quarterly dividends. Recently, it announced a quarterly dividend of 15 cents per share. The dividend will be paid out on Dec 15, to shareholders of record as of Dec 4, 2020.

As of Sep 30, 2020, the company had total debt of $17.10 million, lower than the cash and cash equivalents balance of $46.10 million. At the end of third-quarter 2020, its total debt-to-total capital of 10.70% declined sequentially and is lower than the industry average of 31.69%. Given the strong balance sheet, the company will likely be able to sustain the current level of capital-deployment activities.

In the past year, shares of Middlefield Banc have depreciated 5.5% compared with 21.8% decline of the industry it belongs to.

Currently, Middlefield Banc carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

In the past few months, several firms including Home Bancorp, Inc. (HBCP - Free Report) , HarborOne Bancorp, Inc. (HONE - Free Report) and Columbia Financial, Inc. (CLBK - Free Report) have announced newshare-repurchase authorizations. Home Bancorp’s board of directors approved the repurchase of up to 444,000 shares of the company’s common stock.

HarborOne Bancorp’s board of directors adopted a share-repurchase program, under which it has authorized buyback of up to 2.92 million shares, while Columbia Financial announced an authorization to repurchase up to 5 million shares.

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