Commerce Bancshares 4Q net rises 8.6 percent

Higher deposits, loans, and fee income boosts Commerce Bancshares 4Q profit by 8.6 percent

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Commerce Bancshares Inc. said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter net income rose 8.6 percent as deposits and loan volumes grew.

The company earned $66 million, or 72 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Dec. 31. That was up from $61.5 million, or 66 cents per share, during the same period a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected profit of 72 cents per share.

The bank also benefited from a gain of 10 percent in non-interest income, which rose to $10.3 million as bank card fees increased along with trust fees. Debit card fees rose 5.3 percent to $8.8 million.

Net charge-offs for bad loans were $10.8 million for the quarter, down from $15.6 million a year ago. The rate of charge-offs fell to 3.24 percent, compared to 3.78 percent a year earlier. It set aside $8.3 million for loan losses in the fourth quarter, down from $12.1 million a year earlier. As of the end of the year, it had $64.9 million in assets on which people weren't making payments, down from $93.8 million a year earlier.

For the full year, the company earned $269.3 million, or $2.90 per share. Its 2011 profit was $256.3 million, or $2.69 per share.

Commerce Bancshares operates in more than 360 locations in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado.

Shares fell 64 cents to $36.35 in afternoon trading.

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