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United Financial Bancorp, Inc. ranked as top-performing public company

United Financial Bancorp, Inc. ranked as top-performing public company

United Financial Bancorp, Inc., (UBNK) the parent company of United Bank, has been identified as one of the Bank & Thrift Sm-All Stars by Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP on its annual list of top performers across the country.

United is one of only four Massachusetts banks to achieve Sm-All Star status. United Bank is also one of only three returning institutions from the analysts’ 2010 list.

Sandler O’Neill & Partners evaluates the performance of banks and thrifts with between $50 million and $2 billion in market capitalization on performance in eight variables, including growth trends in earnings per share and loans and deposits, along with return on average equity and measures of asset quality and capital strength.

Sandler included all 486 publicly traded banks and thrifts with a market capitalization of less than $2 billion in its evaluation, and identified just 25 institutions that “stand out from the pack,” including UBNK.

According to a report in American Banker, the median return on average equity in the All Stars group was 10.3%, compared with 4.4% for peers, and the median earnings per share growth was 35.7%, versus 18% for the peer group.

“Earning Sandler’s Sm-All Stars designation as one of the country’s top-performing banks in 2010 and again in 2011 reinforces the message that we are a strong, well-capitalized financial institution with profitable business lines and solid credit quality,” said Richard B. Collins, United’s president and CEO.

Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP is an investment banking firm and broker-dealer focused on the financial services sector. The firm’s Sm-All Stars list has been compiled annually since 2004. The intention, according to the report’s authors as quoted in American Banker, is to “provide investors with a narrow list from which to uncover the next crop of leading mid-cap banks and thrifts and, most important, expose them before they are discovered by the rest of the world.”