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Commerce Bank ends year with record share earnings

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Kansas City-based Commerce Bancshares Inc. (Nasdaq: CBSH) reported record earnings per diluted share of $2.82 during 2011, a 17.5 percent increase compared to $2.40 in 2010.

As of 10:19 a.m., the company's shares were trading at $40.25, near its 52-week high of $41.90.

The company, which operates seven Commerce Bank branches in Springfield, increased its net income 15.6 percent to $256.3 million for the year ended Dec. 31, from $221.7 million in the prior year, according to a news release.

"These solid earnings occurred as a result of growth in average deposits, which increased 9.1 percent this year, and higher revenues from our corporate card and money management businesses, which grew by 19.7 percent and 9.1 percent, respectively," Commerce Chairman and CEO David Kemper said in the release. "Also, our provision for loan losses declined 48.5 percent this year as loan losses decreased significantly, and noninterest expense declined by $13.9 million, or 2.2 percent."

Fourth-quarter earnings reached $61.5 million, roughly flat from the same quarter in 2010, when the company recorded profits of $61.9 million.

Fourth-quarter highlights:
  • The company's allowance for loan losses fell by $3.5 million to $184.5 million, or 2 percent of total loans outstanding.
  • Commerce reported earnings per diluted share of 69 cents, a 2-cent uptick from fourth-quarter 2010.
  • Net interest income was $161.8 million, up from $160.7 million.
As of Dec. 31, the company's assets were $20.65 billion, its deposits were $16.8 billion and its total loans were $9.2 billion.

Commerce Bancshares operates more than 360 branches in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado. The company also has subsidiaries in the mortgage banking, credit related insurance and private equity fields.[[In-content Ad]]

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