Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Commerce Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ:CBSH) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Commerce Bancshares’ net interest margin continues to remain strained owing to a persistent low rate scenario. Further, elevated expenses remain a concern due to the increased compliance costs as well as the company’s strategy to invest in franchise. Also, the increased exposure to risky loans can pose a problem for the company is the real estate prices deteriorate any further. Moreover, stringent regulations are anticipated to lower the fee revenues in the coming quarters. Nonetheless, the company is well positioned to capitalize on inorganic growth opportunities on the back of a robust balance sheet position. Further, its initiatives in the mortgage banking area are anticipated to accelerate fee generation going forward.”

Analyst Recommendations for Commerce Bancshares (NASDAQ:CBSH)

CBSH has been the subject of several other research reports. Morgan Stanley reissued a hold rating on shares of Commerce Bancshares in a report on Tuesday, May 24th. Jefferies Group reissued a hold rating on shares of Commerce Bancshares in a report on Thursday, August 18th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. started coverage on Commerce Bancshares in a report on Monday, July 11th. They issued a neutral rating and a $43.50 price target for the company. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and four have given a hold rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $45.25.

Commerce Bancshares (NASDAQ:CBSH) opened at 49.34 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $4.76 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.90 and a beta of 0.81. Commerce Bancshares has a 52 week low of $37.44 and a 52 week high of $51.30. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $49.25 and its 200-day moving average price is $47.37.

Commerce Bancshares (NASDAQ:CBSH) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 13th. The financial services provider reported $0.70 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.02. The business earned $288.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $295.65 million. Commerce Bancshares had a return on equity of 11.58% and a net margin of 23.03%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.71 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Commerce Bancshares will post $2.77 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 26th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 9th will be paid a $0.225 dividend. This represents a $0.90 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.82%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 7th. Commerce Bancshares’s payout ratio is 34.50%.

In related news, insider Charles G. Kim sold 5,000 shares of Commerce Bancshares stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.04, for a total transaction of $240,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 82,551 shares in the company, valued at $3,965,750.04. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO David W. Kemper sold 40,000 shares of Commerce Bancshares stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.86, for a total value of $1,954,400.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,316,068 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $64,303,082.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 4.60% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Walleye Trading LLC bought a new position in shares of Commerce Bancshares during the second quarter valued at $101,000. Pacad Investment Ltd. bought a new position in shares of Commerce Bancshares during the second quarter valued at $120,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its position in shares of Commerce Bancshares by 28.6% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,547 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 566 shares in the last quarter. WFG Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Commerce Bancshares by 0.5% in the second quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 3,725 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $178,000 after buying an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Advisor Group Inc. bought a new position in shares of Commerce Bancshares during the second quarter valued at $183,000. Institutional investors own 60.86% of the company’s stock.

Commerce Bancshares Company Profile

Commerce Bancshares, Inc is a bank holding company of Commerce Bank (the Bank). The Bank is engaged in general banking business, providing a range of retail, corporate, investment, trust and asset management products and services to individuals and businesses. The Company operates through three segments: Consumer, Commercial and Wealth.

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