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Commerce earnings dip 7 percent in first quarter

Updated: 2013-04-12T00:24:50Z

By MARK DAVIS

The Kansas City Star

Commerce Bancshares Inc. cited low interest rates for a 7 percent drop in its first quarter earnings.

The Kansas City-based banking company said profits totaled $61.0 million through the first three months of this year, or 67 cents a share. A year ago, it had earned $65.8 million, or 70 cents a share.

Commerce’s announcement said it took in less money because of low rates it can charge on loans and earn from investments, particularly securities that come with an inflation protection feature.

Loans grew at a “solid” 10 percent pace in the quarter, increasing both on the consumer and commercial sides of lending, Commerce said. At the end of March, the company had nearly $10 billion in loans compared with $9.2 billion a year earlier.

The company held $9.7 billion in investment securities among its $22.2 billion in total assets. Its quarterly profit equaled a 1.13 percent return on its assets.

To reach Mark Davis, call 816-234-4372 or send email to mdavis@kcstar.com.

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