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Commerce Bank posts yearly earnings gain

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Kansas City-based Commerce Bancshares Inc. (Nasdaq: CBSH) reported 2017 net income available to common shareholders of $310.4 million, a 16.5 percent increase from $266.4 million in 2016.

The operator of seven Commerce Bank branches in Springfield reported full-year earnings per diluted share of $2.89, a 40-cent increase from the prior year, according to a news release.

The full year was aided by fourth-quarter net income available to common shareholders of $92.1 million, or 86 cents per diluted share. That’s up from $72.3 million, or 67 cents per diluted share, in fourth-quarter 2016.

“Core earnings were strong this quarter, driven by growth in net interest income, higher fee income, solid expense control and continued low credit losses,” Commerce Chairman and CEO David Kemper said in the release.

Full-year earnings highlights:
    •    Commerce in the last quarter contributed $25 million in appreciated stock to the Commerce Bancshares Foundation.
    •    The company paid out one-time bonuses to employees in a $3.3 million investment. Officials cited expected savings via federal tax cuts.
    •    Revenue climbed 5.7 percent to $1.2 billion in 2017.

As of Dec. 31, Commerce Bank held assets of $25 billion and deposits of $20.3 billion. The company operates 330 branches in the central United States, according to the release.

On news of its earnings report, CBSH shares ticked up to trade at $58.58 as of 10:12 a.m. Its 52-week range is $51.90 to $60.61.

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