Commerce Bancshares, Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter Earnings Per Common Share Of $.68

Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBSH) announced earnings of $.68 per common share for the three months ended December 31, 2016, compared to $.65 per share in the prior quarter and $.60 per share in the fourth quarter of 2015. Net income attributable to Commerce Bancshares, Inc. for the fourth quarter amounted to $71.6 million, compared to $68.5 million in the prior quarter and $63.7 million in the same quarter last year. For the quarter, the return on average assets was 1.14%, the return on average common equity was 11.5%, and the efficiency ratio was 61.8%.

For the year ended December 31, 2016, earnings per common share totaled $2.61 compared to $2.43 in 2015, or an increase of 7.4%. Net income attributable to Commerce Bancshares, Inc. amounted to $275.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to $263.7 million in 2015. In 2016, the return on average assets was 1.12%, and the return on average common equity was 11.3%.

In announcing these results, David W. Kemper, Chairman and CEO, said, "Overall, Commerce saw strong performance in 2016, with loan growth of 8% and growth in earnings per share of 7%. Loan growth was solid this quarter, as average loans grew $231 million, or 7% annualized. This increase resulted from higher business real estate loan demand, coupled with good growth in residential mortgage and other consumer loans. Average deposits grew $388 million this quarter, or 8% annualized, reflecting expected seasonal growth. Net interest income increased 7% over the fourth quarter of 2015, reflecting growth in loan and investment securities interest income and stable funding costs, and we remain well positioned for improved margins, should interest rates rise in 2017. Non-interest income this quarter grew 3% compared to the same period last year on continued growth in trust, sweep, deposit and swap fees. Non-interest expense was flat with the prior quarter but was up 3% over the same period last year."

Mr. Kemper added, "We continue to maintain strong capital and liquidity levels. Credit quality across our entire loan portfolio remains excellent, with low credit losses and delinquency rates and declining non-performing assets. Net loan charge-offs totaled $9.0 million this quarter, compared to $6.6 million in the previous quarter, with the increase largely due to lower commercial loan recoveries this quarter and slightly higher consumer net loan charge-offs. During the current quarter, the provision for loan losses totaled $10.4 million, or $1.4 million higher than net loan charge-offs. The allowance for loan losses increased to $155.9 million at December 31, 2016, or 1.16% of period end loans. Total non-performing assets decreased $1.9 million from the previous quarter to $14.6 million this quarter."

Total assets at December 31, 2016 were $25.6 billion, total loans were $13.4 billion, and total deposits were $21.1 billion. During the quarter, the Company signed an agreement to purchase a new core deposit system from Temenos Group AG which is expected to be implemented in 2019. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the Company distributed a 5% stock dividend on its common stock. The Company also paid a cash dividend of $.214 per common share, as restated for the 5% stock dividend, and an annualized 6% cash dividend on its preferred stock this quarter.

Commerce Bancshares, Inc. is a registered bank holding company offering a full line of banking services, including investment management and securities brokerage. The Company currently operates in approximately 340 locations in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado. The Company also has operating subsidiaries involved in credit related insurance and private equity activities.

This financial news release, including management's discussion of fourth quarter results, is posted to the Company's web site at www.commercebank.com .

For additional information, contact Jeffery Aberdeen, Controller at 1000 Walnut Street, Suite 700 Kansas City, MO 64106 or by telephone at (816) 234-2081 Web Site: http://www.commercebank.com Email: mymoney@commercebank.com
 
COMMERCE BANCSHARES, INC. and SUBSIDIARIES

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 

 
    For the Three Months Ended     For the Year Ended

(Unaudited)( Dollars in thousands, except per share data)
   

December 31, 2016
   

September 30,2016
   

December 31,2015

December 31, 2016
   

December 31,2015
FINANCIAL SUMMARY    
Net interest income $173,202     $171,243     $162,487 $680,049 $634,320
Non-interest income 119,479       119,319       116,042   474,392       448,139  
Total revenue 292,681 290,562 278,529 1,154,441 1,082,459
Investment securities gains (losses), net 3,651 (1,965 ) (1,480 ) (53 ) 6,320
Provision for loan losses 10,400 7,263 9,186 36,318 28,727
Non-interest expense 181,261       181,242       175,777   717,065       676,487  
Income before taxes 104,671 100,092 92,086 401,005 383,565
Income taxes 32,297 30,942 27,661 124,151 116,590
Non-controlling interest expense (income) 795       605       715   1,463       3,245  
Net income attributable to Commerce Bancshares, Inc. 71,579 68,545 63,710 275,391 263,730
Preferred stock dividends 2,250       2,250       2,250   9,000       9,000  
Net income available to common shareholders $69,329       $66,295       $61,460   $266,391       $254,730  
Earnings per common share:
Net income — basic $.68 $.65 $.60 $2.62 $2.44
Net income — diluted $.68 $.65 $.60 $2.61 $2.43
Effective tax rate 31.09 % 31.10 % 30.27 % 31.07 % 30.66 %
Tax equivalent net interest income $181,301 $179,115 $170,141 $711,433 $664,038
Average total interest earning assets (1) $ 23,775,165 $ 23,150,832 $ 22,948,756 $ 23,378,121 $ 22,621,052
Diluted wtd. average shares outstanding     100,558,345       100,452,911       101,310,405   100,498,696       103,192,753  
 
RATIOS
Average loans to deposits (2) 64.24 % 64.33 % 62.80 % 63.71 % 61.44 %
Return on total average assets 1.14 1.12 1.05 1.12 1.11
Return on average common equity (3) 11.48 10.97 10.88 11.33 11.43
Non-interest income to total revenue 40.82 41.06 41.66 41.09 41.40
Efficiency ratio (4) 61.82 62.25 62.97 61.98 62.34
Net yield on interest earning assets     3.03       3.08       2.94   3.04       2.94  
 
EQUITY SUMMARY
Cash dividends per common share $.214 $.214 $.204 $.857 $.816
Cash dividends on common stock $21,776 $21,772 $20,920 $87,070 $84,961
Cash dividends on preferred stock $2,250 $2,250 $2,250 $9,000       $9,000  
Book value per common share (5) $23.22 $23.82 $21.77
Market value per common share (5) $57.81 $46.91 $40.51
High market value per common share $59.22 $48.86 $44.86
Low market value per common share $45.37 $43.56 $39.43
Common shares outstanding (5) 101,460,962 101,420,849 102,087,300
Tangible common equity to tangible assets (6) 8.66 % 9.22 % 8.48 %
Tier I leverage ratio     9.55 %     9.58 %     9.23 %
 
OTHER QTD INFORMATION
Number of bank/ATM locations 336 340 346
Full-time equivalent employees     4,784       4,778       4,770  

(1)
 

Excludes allowance for loan losses and unrealized gains/(losses) on available for sale securities.

(2)

Includes loans held for sale.

(3)

Annualized net income available to common shareholders divided by average total equity less preferred stock.

(4)

The efficiency ratio is calculated as non-interest expense (excluding intangibles amortization) as a percent of revenue.

(5)

As of period end.

(6)

The tangible common equity ratio is calculated as stockholders' equity reduced by preferred stock, goodwill and other intangible assets (excluding mortgage servicing rights) divided by total assets reduced by goodwill and other intangible assets (excluding mortgage servicing rights).
 
COMMERCE BANCSHARES, INC. and SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
 
    For the Three Months Ended     For the Year Ended

(Unaudited) (In thousands, except per share data)
    December 31, 2016     September 30,2016     June 30,2016     March 31,2016     December 31,2015 December 31, 2016     December 31,2015
Interest income $181,498     $179,361     $180,065     $172,128     $169,742 $713,052     $662,416
Interest expense   8,296         8,118         8,236         8,353         7,255     33,003         28,096  
Net interest income   173,202   171,243   171,829   163,775   162,487   680,049   634,320
Provision for loan losses   10,400         7,263         9,216         9,439         9,186     36,318         28,727  
Net interest income after provision for loan losses   162,802         163,980         162,613         154,336         153,301     643,731         605,593  
NON-INTEREST INCOME
Bank card transaction fees 45,338 47,006 45,065 44,470 46,320 181,879 178,926
Trust fees 31,360 30,951 30,241 29,243 29,622 121,795 118,437
Deposit account charges and other fees 22,134 22,241 21,328 20,691 21,606 86,394 80,416
Capital market fees 2,679 2,751 2,500 2,725 3,116 10,655 11,476
Consumer brokerage services 3,409 3,375 3,491 3,509 3,254 13,784 13,784
Loan fees and sales 2,583 3,123 3,196 2,510 2,101 11,412 8,228
Other   11,976         9,872         10,749         15,876         10,023     48,473         36,872  
Total non-interest income   119,479         119,319         116,570         119,024         116,042     474,392         448,139  
INVESTMENT SECURITIES GAINS (LOSSES), NET 3,651 (1,965 ) (744 ) (995 ) (1,480 ) (53 ) 6,320
NON-INTEREST EXPENSE
Salaries and employee benefits 108,639 107,004 104,808 106,859 102,098 427,310 400,701
Net occupancy 11,529 12,366 11,092 11,303 10,981 46,290 44,788
Equipment 4,884 4,842 4,781 4,634 4,915 19,141 19,086
Supplies and communication 5,645 5,968 5,693 6,829 6,554 24,135 22,970
Data processing and software 23,390 23,663 22,770 22,899 22,274 92,722 83,944
Marketing 3,431 4,399 4,389 3,813 3,539 16,032 16,107
Deposit insurance 3,443 3,576 3,143 3,165 3,145 13,327 12,146
Other   20,300         19,424         20,413         17,971         22,271     78,108         76,745  
Total non-interest expense   181,261         181,242         177,089         177,473         175,777     717,065         676,487  
Income before income taxes 104,671 100,092 101,350 94,892 92,086 401,005 383,565
Less income taxes   32,297         30,942         31,542         29,370         27,661     124,151         116,590  
Net income 72,374 69,150 69,808 65,522 64,425 276,854 266,975
Less non-controlling interest expense (income)   795         605         (85 )       148         715     1,463         3,245  
Net income attributable to Commerce Bancshares, Inc. 71,579 68,545 69,893 65,374 63,710 275,391 263,730
Less preferred stock dividends   2,250         2,250         2,250         2,250         2,250     9,000         9,000  
Net income available to common shareholders $69,329       $66,295       $67,643       $63,124       $61,460   $266,391       $254,730  
Net income per common share — basic $.68       $.65       $.67       $.62       $.60   $2.62       $2.44  
Net income per common share — diluted     $.68       $.65       $.66       $.62       $.60   $2.61       $2.43  
 
OTHER INFORMATION
Return on total average assets 1.14 % 1.12 % 1.15 % 1.07 % 1.05 % 1.12 % 1.11 %
Return on average common equity (1) 11.48 10.97 11.69 11.20 10.88 11.33 11.43
Efficiency ratio (2) 61.82 62.25 61.27 62.62 62.97 61.98 62.34
Effective tax rate 31.09 31.10 31.10 31.00 30.27 31.07 30.66
Net yield on interest earning assets 3.03 3.08 3.11 2.95 2.94 3.04 2.94
Tax equivalent net interest income     $181,301       $179,115       $179,592       $171,425       $170,141   $711,433       $664,038  

(1)
 

Annualized net income available to common shareholders divided by average total equity less preferred stock.

(2)

The efficiency ratio is calculated as non-interest expense (excluding intangibles amortization) as a percent of revenue.
 
COMMERCE BANCSHARES, INC. and SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS - PERIOD END
 

(Unaudited) (In thousands)
    December 31, 2016     September 30,2016     December 31,2015
ASSETS            
Loans
Business $ 4,776,365 $ 4,770,883 $ 4,397,893
Real estate — construction and land 791,236 800,545 624,070
Real estate — business 2,643,374 2,520,528 2,355,544
Real estate — personal 2,010,397 1,968,005 1,915,953
Consumer 1,990,801 1,972,969 1,924,365
Revolving home equity 413,634 417,591 432,981
Consumer credit card 776,465 760,022 779,744
Overdrafts 10,464       19,698       6,142  
Total loans 13,412,736       13,230,241       12,436,692  
Allowance for loan losses (155,932 )     (154,532 )     (151,532 )
Net loans 13,256,804       13,075,709       12,285,160  
Loans held for sale 14,456 9,511 7,607
Investment securities:
Available for sale 9,649,203 9,438,871 9,777,004
Trading 22,225 28,586 11,890
Non-marketable 99,558       108,224       112,786  
Total investment securities 9,770,986       9,575,681       9,901,680  
Federal funds sold and short-term securities purchased under agreements to resell 15,470 13,415 14,505
Long-term securities purchased under agreements to resell 725,000 725,000 875,000
Interest earning deposits with banks 272,275 56,767 23,803
Cash and due from banks 494,690 396,938 464,411
Land, buildings and equipment — net 337,705 339,196 352,581
Goodwill 138,921 138,921 138,921
Other intangible assets — net 6,709 6,621 6,669
Other assets 608,408       396,709       534,625  
Total assets $ 25,641,424       $ 24,734,468       $ 24,604,962  
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
Deposits:
Non-interest bearing $ 7,429,398 $ 7,130,415 $ 7,146,398
Savings, interest checking and money market 11,430,789 11,023,526 10,834,746
Time open and C.D.'s of less than $100,000 713,075 732,575 785,191
Time open and C.D.'s of $100,000 and over 1,527,833       1,279,644       1,212,518  
Total deposits 21,101,095       20,166,160       19,978,853  
Federal funds purchased and securities sold under agreements to repurchase 1,723,905 1,489,891 1,963,552
Other borrowings 102,049 101,415 103,818
Other liabilities 213,243       416,189       191,321  
Total liabilities 23,140,292       22,173,655       22,237,544  
Stockholders' equity:
Preferred stock 144,784 144,784 144,784
Common stock 510,015 489,862 489,862
Capital surplus 1,552,454 1,335,150 1,337,677
Retained earnings 292,849 515,081 383,313
Treasury stock (15,294 ) (50,538 ) (26,116 )
Accumulated other comprehensive income 10,975       121,082       32,470  
Total stockholders' equity 2,495,783 2,555,421 2,361,990
Non-controlling interest 5,349       5,392       5,428  
Total equity 2,501,132       2,560,813       2,367,418  
Total liabilities and equity     $ 25,641,424       $ 24,734,468       $ 24,604,962  
 
COMMERCE BANCSHARES, INC. and SUBSIDIARIES

AVERAGE BALANCE SHEETS
 

(Unaudited) (In thousands)
   

For the Three Months Ended
     

December 31, 2016
   

September 30,2016
   

June 30,2016
   

March 31,2016
   

December 31,2015
ASSETS:                
Loans:
Business $ 4,731,405 $ 4,694,340 $ 4,691,476 $ 4,491,556 $ 4,351,756
Real estate — construction and land 821,048 821,422 789,329 682,557 584,185
Real estate — business 2,559,028 2,432,325 2,389,170 2,382,094 2,320,439
Real estate — personal 1,985,606 1,943,951 1,905,968 1,909,532 1,916,219
Consumer 1,978,154 1,947,956 1,927,925 1,934,577 1,908,540
Revolving home equity 415,429 411,832 413,198 429,682 429,582
Consumer credit card 757,618 750,412 738,130 752,098 756,743
Overdrafts 5,501       4,652       3,916       4,772       6,303  
Total loans 13,253,789       13,006,890       12,859,112       12,586,868       12,273,767  
Allowance for loan losses (154,040 )     (153,517 )     (151,622 )     (151,308 )     (150,856 )
Net loans 13,099,749       12,853,373       12,707,490       12,435,560       12,122,911  
Loans held for sale 10,765 26,597 56,272 9,360 6,118
Investment securities:
U.S. government and federal agency obligations 811,524 726,469 698,374 703,212 580,816
Government-sponsored enterprise obligations 445,544 481,573 666,354 776,488 824,066
State and municipal obligations 1,784,407 1,747,794 1,763,849 1,718,587 1,779,704
Mortgage-backed securities 3,656,695 3,366,292 3,394,466 3,424,716 3,335,627
Asset-backed securities 2,417,367 2,340,783 2,377,708 2,537,472 2,574,426
Other marketable securities 333,236 334,747 337,572 342,382 337,340
Unrealized gain on investment securities 155,818       235,169       191,565       149,319       130,231  
Total available for sale securities 9,604,591 9,232,827 9,429,888 9,652,176 9,562,210
Trading securities 21,717 18,433 20,540 18,190 23,217
Non-marketable securities 105,420       113,954       116,103       127,769       114,321  
Total investment securities 9,731,728       9,365,214       9,566,531       9,798,135       9,699,748  
Federal funds sold and short-term securities purchased under agreements to resell 8,336 13,054 11,916 17,378 18,694
Long-term securities purchased under agreements to resell 724,998 766,302 824,999 850,275 902,174
Interest earning deposits with banks 201,367 207,944 125,024 219,636 178,486
Other assets 1,153,982       1,151,549       1,113,214       1,172,916       1,119,602  
Total assets $ 24,930,925       $ 24,384,033       $ 24,405,446       $ 24,503,260       $ 24,047,733  
 
LIABILITIES AND EQUITY:
Non-interest bearing deposits $ 7,307,407 $ 7,096,218 $ 6,885,889 $ 6,905,673 $ 6,995,666
Savings 773,304 778,663 787,478 761,020 736,824
Interest checking and money market 10,512,268 10,210,744 10,287,923 10,128,543 9,805,457
Time open & C.D.'s of less than $100,000 722,775 740,729 758,703 775,221 796,639
Time open & C.D.'s of $100,000 and over 1,333,764       1,435,001       1,635,892       1,483,700       1,219,803  
Total deposits 20,649,518       20,261,355       20,355,885       20,054,157       19,554,389  
Borrowings:
Federal funds purchased and securities sold under agreements to repurchase 1,284,916 1,163,728 1,211,892 1,404,754 1,707,430
Other borrowings 101,412       102,769       104,649       377,711       103,819  
Total borrowings 1,386,328 1,266,497 1,316,541 1,782,465 1,811,249
Other liabilities 346,900       306,306       260,179       254,437       295,718  
Total liabilities 22,382,746       21,834,158       21,932,605       22,091,059       21,661,356  
Equity 2,548,179       2,549,875       2,472,841       2,412,201       2,386,377  
Total liabilities and equity     $ 24,930,925       $ 24,384,033       $ 24,405,446       $ 24,503,260       $ 24,047,733  
 
COMMERCE BANCSHARES, INC. and SUBSIDIARIES

AVERAGE RATES
 
(Unaudited)    

For the Three Months Ended
   

December 31, 2016
   

September 30,2016
   

June 30,2016
   

March 31,2016
   

December 31,2015
ASSETS:                
Loans:
Business (1) 2.91 % 2.87 % 2.90 % 2.87 % 2.78 %
Real estate — construction and land 3.64 3.48 3.46 3.51 3.41
Real estate — business 3.61 3.63 3.69 3.70 3.68
Real estate — personal 3.69 3.73 3.76 3.77 3.76
Consumer 3.85 3.91 3.80 3.87 3.91
Revolving home equity 3.50 3.56 3.59 3.52 3.44
Consumer credit card 11.38 11.56 11.54 11.42 11.23
Overdrafts                          
Total loans 3.85       3.86       3.86       3.89       3.85  
Loans held for sale 5.77 5.00 4.95 5.80 5.40
Investment securities:
U.S. government and federal agency obligations 2.18 2.43 3.48 .40 .17
Government-sponsored enterprise obligations 1.54 2.24 3.03 1.93 1.89
State and municipal obligations (1) 3.57 3.60 3.60 3.66 3.64
Mortgage-backed securities 2.40 2.38 2.36 2.45 2.54
Asset-backed securities 1.52 1.48 1.45 1.39 1.25
Other marketable securities (1) 2.95       2.74       2.77       2.79       2.83  
Total available for sale securities 2.36 2.39 2.51 2.20 2.20
Trading securities (1) 2.40 2.42 2.27 2.87 2.65
Non-marketable securities (1) 5.42       10.24       8.03       6.54       8.19  
Total investment securities 2.39       2.49       2.58       2.26       2.27  
Federal funds sold and short-term securities purchased under agreements to resell .72 .61 .64 .56 .32
Long-term securities purchased under agreements to resell 1.86 1.73 1.64 1.64 1.40
Interest earning deposits with banks .56       .51       .49       .49       .28  
Total interest earning assets 3.17       3.22       3.25       3.10       3.07  
 
LIABILITIES AND EQUITY:
Interest bearing deposits:
Savings .12 .12 .11 .12 .12
Interest checking and money market .13 .13 .13 .13 .13
Time open & C.D.'s of less than $100,000 .37 .37 .38 .38 .37
Time open & C.D.'s of $100,000 and over .60       .61       .58       .54       .51  
Total interest bearing deposits .19       .20       .20       .19       .18  
Borrowings:
Federal funds purchased and securities sold under agreements to repurchase .30 .25 .24 .25 .14
Other borrowings 3.54       3.51       3.49       1.33       3.47  
Total borrowings .54       .51       .50       .48       .33  
Total interest bearing liabilities .22 %     .22 %     .22 %     .23 %     .20 %
 
Net yield on interest earning assets     3.03 %     3.08 %     3.11 %     2.95 %     2.94 %

(1)
 

Stated on a tax equivalent basis using a federal income tax rate of 35%.
 
COMMERCE BANCSHARES, INC. and SUBSIDIARIES

CREDIT QUALITY
 
    For the Three Months Ended     For the Year Ended

(Unaudited) (In thousands, except per share data)
   

December 31, 2016
   

September 30,2016
   

June 30,2016
   

March 31,2016
   

December 31,2015

December 31, 2016
   

December 31,2015
ALLOWANCE FOR LOAN LOSSES                    
Balance at beginning of period $ 154,532 $ 153,832 $ 152,132 $ 151,532 $ 151,532 $ 151,532 $ 156,532
Provision for losses 10,400 7,263 9,216 9,439 9,186 36,318 28,727
Net charge-offs (recoveries):
Commercial portfolio:
Business 268 (50 ) (65 ) 463 (133 ) 616 (388 )
Real estate — construction and land (882 ) (2,312 ) (507 ) (11 ) 60 (3,712 ) (1,262 )
Real estate — business 97       (106 )     (1,030 )     (242 )     (626 ) (1,281 )     (133 )
(517 )     (2,468 )     (1,602 )     210       (699 ) (4,377 )     (1,783 )
Personal banking portfolio:
Consumer credit card 6,506 6,356 6,650 5,918 6,479 25,430 25,039
Consumer 2,427 2,240 1,781 2,599 2,251 9,047 8,278
Overdraft 379 434 307 219 487 1,339 1,350
Real estate — personal (38 ) (78 ) 305 (195 ) 458 (6 ) 441
Revolving home equity 243       79       75       88       210   485       402  
9,517       9,031       9,118       8,629       9,885   36,295       35,510  
Total net loan charge-offs 9,000       6,563       7,516       8,839       9,186   31,918       33,727  
Balance at end of period     $ 155,932       $ 154,532       $ 153,832       $ 152,132       $ 151,532   $ 155,932       $ 151,532  
 
NET CHARGE-OFF RATIOS*
Commercial portfolio:
Business .02 % % (.01 )% .04 % (.01

)%
.01 % (.01 )%
Real estate — construction and land (.43 ) (1.12 ) (.26 ) (.01 ) .04 (.48 ) (.26 )
Real estate — business .02       (.02 )     (.17 )     (.04 )     (.11 ) (.05 )     (.01 )
(.03 )     (.12 )     (.08 )     .01       (.04 ) (.06 )     (.03 )
Personal banking portfolio:
Consumer credit card 3.42 3.37 3.62 3.16 3.40 3.39 3.35
Consumer .49 .46 .37 .54 .47 .46 .45
Overdraft 27.41 37.11 31.53 18.46 30.65 28.42 24.93
Real estate — personal (.01 ) (.02 ) .06 (.04 ) .09 .02
Revolving home equity .23       .08       .07       .08       .19   .12       .09  
.74       .71       .74       .69       .78   .72       .72  
Total     .27 %     .20 %     .24 %     .28 %     .30 % .25 %     .28 %
 
CREDIT QUALITY RATIOS
Non-performing assets to total loans .11 % .13 % .20 % .25 % .24 %
Non-performing assets to total assets .06 .07 .11 .13 .12
Allowance for loan losses to total loans     1.16       1.17       1.18       1.20       1.22  
 
NON-PERFORMING ASSETS
Non-accrual loans:
Business $ 8,682 $ 8,758 $ 12,716 $ 16,098 $ 10,874
Real estate — construction and land 564 1,310 2,170 2,710 3,090
Real estate — business 1,634 1,920 5,236 6,234 7,863
Real estate — personal 3,403 3,634 4,293 4,205 4,425
Revolving home equity       23       109       120       323  
Total 14,283       15,645       24,524       29,367       26,575  
Foreclosed real estate 366       950       1,609       1,997       2,819  
Total non-performing assets $ 14,649       $ 16,595       $ 26,133       $ 31,364       $ 29,394  
 
Loans past due 90 days and still accruing interest     $ 16,396       $ 16,916       $ 15,892       $ 15,360       $ 16,467  

*as a percentage of average loans (excluding loans held for sale)
 

COMMERCE BANCSHARES, INC. Management Discussion of Fourth Quarter Results December 31, 2016

For the quarter ended December 31, 2016, net income attributable to Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (net income) amounted to $71.6 million, compared to $68.5 million in the previous quarter and $63.7 million in the same quarter last year. The increase in net income over the previous quarter resulted mainly from an increase in net interest income of $2.0 million and an increase in net securities gains of $5.6 million. The provision for loan losses increased $3.1 million over the prior quarter. The allowance for loan losses increased $1.4 million this quarter, and net loan charge-offs increased mostly due to a decline in commercial loan recoveries this quarter. Non-interest expense this quarter was nearly unchanged from the prior quarter. For the current quarter, the return on total average assets was 1.14%, the return on average common equity was 11.5%, and the efficiency ratio was 61.8%.

Balance Sheet Review

During the 4 th quarter of 2016, average total loans increased $231.1 million, or 7.1% annualized, compared to the previous quarter, and increased $984.7 million, or 8.0%, over the same period last year. Compared to the previous quarter, the increase in average loans resulted mainly from growth in business real estate (up $126.7 million), personal real estate (up $41.7 million), business (up $37.1 million), and consumer (up $30.2 million) loans. Included in the quarter were loan pay-offs of $162.8 million, which were primarily pay-offs of construction loans. Demand was stronger for business real estate loans, and the Company originated a number of larger business real estate loans this quarter. Growth in business loans was driven by higher demand for lease, tax-free and commercial and industrial loans, while consumer loan growth mainly resulted from new private banking loan originations. During the current quarter, the Company sold certain fixed rate personal real estate loans totaling $41.7 million compared to $43.4 million in the prior quarter. Additionally, personal real estate loan originations continued to be strong this quarter, especially for 15 year fixed rate loans, which the Company did not sell into the secondary market.

During the 4 th quarter of 2016, total average available for sale investment securities increased $371.8 million to $9.6 billion, at fair value. The growth in investment securities was funded by deposit growth as noted below. Purchases of new securities totaled $773.4 million in the 4 th quarter of 2016 and were offset by sales, maturities and pay downs of $377.4 million. Average mortgage-backed securities increased $290.4 million this quarter while other asset-backed securities grew $76.6 million. At December 31, 2016, the duration of the investment portfolio was 2.9 years, and maturities and pay downs of approximately $1.7 billion are expected to occur during the next 12 months.

Total average deposits increased $388.2 million, or 1.9%, this quarter compared to the previous quarter. The increase in average deposits resulted mainly from growth in business demand deposits of $254.1 million, coupled with an increase in money market (increase of $258.0 million) and interest checking (increase of $43.5 million) accounts. Compared to the previous quarter, total average consumer, commercial and private banking deposits increased $104.4 million, $63.6 million, and $229.5 million, respectively. The average loans to deposits ratio was 64.2% in the current quarter and 64.3% in the prior quarter.

Compared to the previous quarter, the Company's average borrowings increased $119.8 million to $1.4 billion in the current quarter, mostly due to higher federal funds purchased and repurchase agreement balances.

Net Interest Income

Net interest income (tax equivalent) in the 4 th quarter of 2016 amounted to $181.3 million, compared with $179.1 million in the previous quarter. Net interest income (tax equivalent) for the current quarter increased $11.2 million compared to the 4 th quarter of last year. During the 4 th quarter of 2016, the net yield on earning assets (tax equivalent) was 3.03%, compared with 3.08% in the previous quarter and 2.94% in the same period last year. The increase in net interest income (tax equivalent) in the current quarter compared to the prior quarter was due mainly to higher interest income on loans and investment securities of $2.3 million, partly offset by an increase in interest expense of $178 thousand.

Compared to the previous quarter, interest on loans (tax equivalent) increased $1.9 million, mainly as a result of higher average balances in business real estate, personal real estate, consumer and consumer credit card loans. Overall, the average yield on the loan portfolio declined slightly this quarter to 3.85%.

Interest on investment securities (tax equivalent) increased $419 thousand over the previous quarter. The current quarter included an adjustment of $1.8 million lowering premium amortization expense due to slowing prepayment speeds on mortgage-backed securities and was reflective of rising interest rates this quarter. Also, the prior quarter included one-time interest income of $938 thousand received on a private equity debt investment that did not reoccur this quarter. Interest on government-sponsored investment securities declined $983 thousand due to lower balances and rates, offset by increased interest income from mortgage-backed, asset-backed and municipal securities. Total inflation income on treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS) for the quarter totaled $1.9 million compared to $2.2 million in the previous quarter. The yield on total investment securities was 2.39% in the current quarter compared to 2.49% in the prior quarter.

Interest expense on deposits decreased $72 thousand this quarter compared with the previous quarter due mainly to lower certificate of deposit balances. Borrowing costs increased $250 thousand this quarter compared to the prior quarter mostly due to higher rates paid on federal funds and repurchase agreements.

Non-Interest Income

In the 4 th quarter of 2016, total non-interest income amounted to $119.5 million, an increase of $3.4 million, or 3.0%, compared to the same period last year. Also, current quarter non-interest income was slightly higher when compared to amounts recorded in the previous quarter. The increase in non-interest income over the same period last year was mainly due to growth in trust and swap fee income which increased $1.7 million and $1.8 million, respectively, and was partly offset by lower bank card fees.

Total bank card fees in the current quarter declined $982 thousand, or 2.1%, from the same period last year. The decrease was mainly the result of a decline in commercial card fees of $866 thousand, coupled with lower merchant and credit card interchange fees. Debit card fees grew 1.6% this quarter over the 4 th quarter of last year. Total bank card fees this quarter were comprised of fees on corporate card ($21.8 million), debit card ($10.1 million), merchant ($7.0 million) and credit card ($6.5 million) transactions.

In the current quarter, trust fees increased $1.7 million, or 5.9%, over the same period last year, with growth coming mainly from private client customers. Compared to the same period last year, deposit account fees increased $528 thousand, or 2.4%, as a result of growth in deposit account service fees of $409 thousand, or 8.2%, and higher corporate cash management fees.

Compared to the 4 th quarter of 2015, loan fees and sales grew $482 thousand, or 22.9%, this quarter due to higher mortgage banking revenue related to the Company's fixed rate residential mortgage sale program. Included in other non-interest income are fees from sales of interest rate swaps and sweep fees, which increased $1.8 million and $949 thousand, respectively, over the same period last year. Fees from the sales of tax credits grew by $186 thousand this quarter. Non-interest income comprised 40.8% of the Company's total revenue this quarter.

Investment Securities Gains and Losses

The Company recorded net securities gains of $3.7 million this quarter, compared with net losses of $2.0 million last quarter and net losses of $1.5 million in the same period last year. Net gains in the current quarter resulted primarily from realized gains and unrealized fair value adjustments on the Company's private equity investment portfolio.

Non-Interest Expense

Non-interest expense for the current quarter amounted to $181.3 million, which was virtually unchanged from the prior quarter. Compared to the same period last year, non-interest expense increased $5.5 million, or 3.1%. The increase over the same period in the previous year was mainly due to higher costs for salaries and benefits, occupancy, data processing costs, and professional fees, partially offset by lower supplies and communication expense.

Compared to the 4 th quarter of last year, salaries and benefits expense increased $6.5 million, or 6.4%. Growth in salaries expense of $6.0 million, or 6.9%, was mainly the result of higher full-time salaries and incentive compensation costs. Benefits expense increased $505 thousand, mainly due to higher 401(k) expense over the same period last year. Growth in total salaries expense compared to the previous year resulted mainly from increased staffing costs in commercial banking, commercial card, residential mortgage, trust, and other support units. Full-time equivalent employees totaled 4,784 and 4,770 at December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

Compared to the 4 th quarter of last year, data processing and software costs and occupancy costs grew $1.1 million and $548 thousand, respectively, while costs for supplies and communication, equipment and marketing all declined. Higher occupancy costs were incurred this quarter compared to the same period last year, mainly due to demolition costs associated with a branch location which is currently being replaced. The increase in data processing and software expense was due to higher costs for commercial cash management software, online banking and other general information technology systems. The decrease in costs for supplies and communication was related mainly to the completion of the issuance of new chip cards in prior quarters, which has also helped to lower bank card fraud losses this year. Additionally this quarter, FDIC insurance costs increased $298 thousand compared to the same quarter last year due to higher deposit balances and insurance rates. The decline in other non-interest expense was the result of $1.6 million lower bank card fraud losses and a $729 thousand decline in other bank card costs this quarter, offset by higher professional fees.

Income Taxes

The effective tax rate for the Company was 31.1% in the current quarter, 31.1% in the previous quarter, and 30.3% in the 4 th quarter of 2015.

Credit Quality

Net loan charge-offs in the 4 th quarter of 2016 amounted to $9.0 million, compared to $6.6 million in the prior quarter and $9.2 million in the same period last year. The ratio of annualized net loan charge-offs to total average loans was .27% in the current quarter compared to .20% in the previous quarter and .30% in the 4 th quarter of last year. During the 4 th quarter of 2016, the Company recorded net recoveries on commercial loans of $517 thousand, compared to net recoveries of $2.5 million in the prior quarter. Net loan charge-offs in the personal banking portfolio totaled $9.5 million in the current quarter and $9.0 million in the previous quarter.

In the 4 th quarter of 2016, annualized net loan charge-offs on average consumer credit card loans were 3.42%, compared with 3.37% in the previous quarter and 3.40% in the same period last year. Consumer loan net charge-offs were .49% of average consumer loans in the current quarter, .46% in the prior quarter and .47% in the same quarter last year. The provision for loan losses in the current quarter totaled $10.4 million, compared to $7.3 million in the prior quarter and $9.2 million in the 4 th quarter of last year. This quarter, the provision for loan losses exceeded net loan charge-offs by $1.4 million. At December 31, 2016, the allowance totaled $155.9 million, which was 1.16% of total loans.

At December 31, 2016, total non-performing assets amounted to $14.6 million, a decrease of $1.9 million from the previous quarter. Non-performing assets are comprised of non-accrual loans and foreclosed real estate ($14.3 million and $366 thousand, respectively, at December 31, 2016). At December 31, 2016, the balance of non-accrual loans, which represented .11% of loans outstanding, included business loans of $8.7 million, business real estate loans of $1.6 million, personal real estate loans of $3.4 million, and construction and land loans of $564 thousand. Loans more than 90 days past due and still accruing interest totaled $16.4 million at December 31, 2016.

Other

During the 4 th quarter of 2016, the Company distributed a 5% stock dividend on its common stock. This quarter the Company also paid a cash dividend of $.214 per common share, as restated for the 5% stock dividend, and an annualized 6% cash dividend on its preferred stock. During the quarter, the Company signed an agreement to purchase a new core deposit system from Temenos Group AG which is expected to be implemented in 2019.

Forward Looking Information

This information contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include future financial and operating results, expectations, intentions and other statements that are not historical facts. Such statements are based on current beliefs and expectations of the Company's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170118005173/en/

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