Commerce Bank Earnings Up

Commerce Bancshares Inc. announced earnings of 77 cents per share for the three months ended June 30, an increase of 2.7 percent compared to 75 cents per share in the second quarter of 2007.
Net income for the second quarter amounted to $56 million compared with $55.6 million in the same period last year.
The return on average assets for the three months ended June 30, 2008 was 1.37 percent, and the return on average equity was 14.1 percent.
For the six months ended June 30, earnings per share totaled $1.66 compared to $1.45 for the first six months of last year. Net income amounted to $120.1 million in 2008 compared with $107.1 million in 2007. For the six months of 2008, the return on average assets was 1.48 percent, and the return on average equity was 15.3 percent.
“While economic conditions remain challenging, we are pleased to report solid revenue growth this quarter,” said David W. Kemper, chairman and CEO. “Net interest income grew by 8 percent over the same quarter last year as a result of increases in both loans and deposits, and a stronger net interest margin. Additionally, during the second quarter bank card fees increased 14 percent with debit, merchant and corporate card fees each experiencing double-digit growth. Exclusive of the reversal of VISA litigation charges reported in the first quarter, non-interest expenses in the current quarter were down 1.4 percent compared to the prior quarter, and remain well controlled.”
In the difficult economic environment, Commerce focused on maintaining adequate levels of liquidity and capital while closely monitoring and controlling credit costs, he said.
“Compared to a year ago, shareholders’ equity has increased 10.1 percent resulting in a tangible equity to assets ratio of 8.7 percent; overall liquidity remains solid,” he said. “Also, while net non-mortgage consumer loan losses have increased significantly over the same quarter last year, business, construction and business real estate loan losses have remained at relatively low levels. Non-accrual loans grew moderately this quarter to $29.2 million, but still represent only .26 percent of outstanding loans. During the quarter, we increased our allowance for loan losses to $145.2 million, which is 498 percent of total non-accrual loans. The allowance for loan losses has increased 9.2 percent compared to a year ago, and is now 1.31 percent of outstanding loans.”

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