Commerce sees growth in quarter; 2009 earnings lower

WICHITA — The holding company of Commerce Bank posted higher earnings in the quarter ended Dec. 31 but saw earnings slip for the full year.

Kansas City, Mo.-based Commerce Bancshares said it earned 60 cents a share in fourth quarter 2009.

That's 5 cents a share higher than in fourth quarter 2008.

For 2009, earnings were $2.07 a share compared to $2.36 the year before.

David Kemper, Commerce chairman and CEO, said in a news release today that the bank's higher fourth quarter results were largely from an increase in net interest income and higher fees earned on student lending activities and bank card transactions.

The company's assets stood at $18.1 billion as of Dec. 31.