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Fourth-quarter decline in Commerce earnings leads to a flat 2014


kansascity.com | January 29, 2015

By Mark Anderson

Commerce Bancshares Inc. reported a 4.8 percent drop in fourth-quarter earnings, leaving the Kansas City company with flat earnings for all of 2014.

Profits totaled $62.7 million, or 62 cents a share, in October, November and December. A year earlier, the banking company earned $65.9 million, or 65 cents a share, in the quarter.

In its announcement, Commerce said that low short-term interest rates weighed on its earnings and that loan growth during the recent quarter was modest.

For all of 2014, the company earned $261.8 million, compared with $261 million in 2013.

Commerce ended December with $24 billion in assets, including $11.5 billion in loans.

Tuesday’s report came after Commerce had delayed its original release date “until the completion of audit procedures on its allowance for loan losses by its external auditors.” It had added that “the current auditing environment with heightened expectations and evolving practices related to the allowance has caused this unexpected delay.”

In the quarter, Commerce set aside $4.66 million for potential losses on loans, which was less than in the previous quarter and the fourth quarter a year ago. It also was $5 million less than its net loan chargeoffs in the quarter.


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