Maximizing and Protecting Shareholder Value
Commerce enjoyed strong financial performance in 2012, with record earnings and an 8% increase in earnings per share. In an environment of unprecedented low interest rates, sluggish economic growth, and significant new bank regulation, Commerce's main focus was on developing new quality loan relationships, to expand margins, and create new cross-selling opportunities across our diverse product set. We also focused our efforts on higher-growth industry segments, investment in new product development and, as always, our customer satisfaction.
We are proud of our Company and its relative performance during these extraordinary times. Commerce Bancshares' financial position remains strong, as evidenced by:
- Commerce reported earnings per share of $2.90, an 8% increase over 2011. Return on average assets (ROA) was 1.30% and return on average equity (ROE) was 12.0%. Both ratios far exceed the average ROA and ROE for the top 50 U.S. banks, .95% and 8.7%, respectively.
- Net income was a record $269 million, an increase of 5% over 2011, reflecting strong growth in both trust and commercial card revenues, coupled with a 47% decline in loan losses.
- In 2012, Commerce paid a regular cash dividend of $.88 per share* and a special dividend of $1.43 per share* marking the 44th consecutive year in which cash dividends to shareholders increased.
- Total loans grew 7% with loan growth coming from both businesses and consumers as lending demand improved in our markets. Deposits also grew 9%.
- Commerce continued to garner industry recognition, being ranked #4 on Bank Director magazine's 2012 Bank Performance Scorecard, and for the fourth year in a row was among the top ten on Forbes' list of America's Best Banks.
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