Springfield, MO

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Commerce reports results

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Commerce Bancshares Inc. announced Jan. 19 earnings of $2.42 per share for 1998, up 14 percent from earnings of $2.13 per share in 1997.

In the fourth quarter of 1998, net income of $40 million and earnings per share of 65 cents increased 10 percent compared to 1997 fourth-quarter results.

"We have now reported our 11th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth in earnings per share," said David W. Kemper, chairman and chief executive officer of Commerce. "In particular, we were pleased with the 11 percent growth in revenue that occurred in 1998."

Kemper said in a release that net interest income was up 8 percent, driven by $822 million in more loans compared to 1997.

In the fourth quarter, Commerce had one-time costs related to internal consolidation, re-engineering and Year 2000 projects, according to the release from the company. Those costs amounted to about 5 cents per share, or $3.1 million after taxes.

Total loans as of Dec. 31 were $7 billion, and total deposits were $9.5 billion.

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