GLEN ROCK, N.J. - Citizens First Bancorp said its board had declared the company's first common stock dividend in 3 1/2 years.

The payout will be 4.25 cents a share on Feb. 1 to shareholders of record on Jan. 14.

The board also declared the regular quarterly dividend of 62.5 cents on the cumulative convertible preferred stock, Series A.

"The reinstatement of common stock dividends represents an important milestone in our rebuilding program," said Allan D. Nichols, chairman and chief executive officer of the $2.5 billion-asset New Jersey bank. "Less than two years ago the viability of the company and the bank was in question. Today we have the highest level of capital in our history and strong core earnings."

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