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Commerce Bancshares Profit Rises - Update

Commerce Bancshares Inc. (CBSH) Thursday reported a higher first-quarter profit on lower loan-loss provision and other costs. Meanwhile, a slide in revenue were offset by higher investment gains.

Results for the quarter were helped by a sharp decrease in loan-loss provision to $8 million from $15.8 million last year. Annualized net loan charge-offs on average consumer credit card loans was 3.40 percent, compared to 4.73 percent in the year-ago quarter.

The quarter saw a drop in non-interest expense to $150.5 million from $154 million last year, partly reflecting lower debit card interchange fees. Results were also helped by investment securities gain of $4 million, up from $1.3 million in the prior year.

Kansas City, Missouri-based Commerce Bancshares reported first-quarter net income of $65.8 million or $0.74 per share, compared to $60.5 million or $0.66 per share last year.

On average, 13 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.67 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Net interest income for the quarter fell to $159.7 million from $161 million last year. Net yield on earning assets was lower at 3.45 percent, compared to 3.85 percent last year. Non interest income was lower at $94.6 million, compared to $95.9 million a year ago.

Analysts expected total revenue of $259.28 million for the quarter.

At the end of the quarter, net loans for the company totaled $9.07 billion, compared to $9.2 billion in the prior year. Deposits amounted to $16.8 billion, compared to $15.5 billion last year.

The company said that during the quarter it purchased 810,642 shares of treasury stock at an average cost of $38.98.

CBSH is trading at $40.01, up $0.85 or 2.17%, on the Nasdaq.

by RTT Staff Writer

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