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Commerce Bancshares, Inc. Announces Record Second Quarter Earnings Per Share Of $.84

Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBSH) announced record earnings of $.84 per share for the three months ended June 30, 2012 compared to $.75 per share in the second quarter of 2011, or an increase of 12.0%. Net income for the second quarter amounted to $74.3 million compared to $69.0 million in the same quarter last year. For the quarter, the return on average assets totaled 1.45%, the return on average equity was 13.4% and the efficiency ratio was 56.4%.

For the six months ended June 30, 2012, earnings per share totaled $1.58 compared to $1.41 in the first six months of 2011, an increase of 12.1%. Net income amounted to $140.1 million for the first six months of 2012 compared with $129.5 million for the same period last year, or an increase of $10.6 million. The return on average assets for the first six months of 2012 was 1.37%.

In making this announcement, David W. Kemper, Chairman and CEO, said, “We were pleased to report record second quarter earnings which, compared to the previous quarter, was driven by 4.6% growth in top line revenue, continued improving credit quality, and solid expense control. Net interest income grew by $5.4 million over the previous quarter and our margin improved to 3.55%, while non-interest income grew by 6.6% due to solid results from our trust and corporate card businesses. Non-interest expense was up only slightly over the previous quarter, but down 1.9% from the previous year as we continue to emphasize efficiencies within our organization. Period end loans grew $128.1 million, or 1.4%, this quarter compared to the previous quarter and resulted from growth of $165.1 million in business, personal real estate loans and consumer loans. Period end deposits also grew by $59.9 million this quarter, or .4%.”

Mr. Kemper continued, “Net loan charge-offs for the current quarter totaled $8.2 million, compared to $11.2 million in the previous quarter and $15.2 million in the second quarter of 2011. The lower net loan charge-offs resulted from several large commercial loan recoveries totaling $3.6 million during the quarter and lower credit card losses, but offset by slightly higher real estate-related loan losses. During the current quarter, the provision for loan losses totaled $5.2 million, or $3.0 million less than net loan charge-offs, reflecting continued improving credit trends in much of our loan portfolio. Our allowance for loan losses amounted to $178.5 million this quarter, representing 2.9 times our non-performing loans. Total non-performing assets decreased $5.2 million to $82.3 million this quarter. During the quarter we repurchased approximately 1,033,000 shares of Company stock at an average price per share of $38.76.”

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