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

According to Zacks, “Commerce Bancshares’ shares have outperformed the industry in the last six months. The company's efforts to expand its footprint in newer markets, an improving rate scenario and expectation of lesser regulations are expected to boost revenues further. Also, strong loan and deposit balance should support its profitability. Given a solid liquidity position, the company should be able to continue enhancing shareholder value through efficient capital deployment activities. However, rising expenses mainly due to increase in personnel costs and investments in franchise remain a major headwind. Further, a significant exposure to real estate loans remains a near-term concern for the company.”

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on CBSH. Wells Fargo & Company restated a market perform rating and issued a $53.00 target price (up previously from $51.00) on shares of Commerce Bancshares in a report on Friday, July 14th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a hold rating and issued a $61.00 target price on shares of Commerce Bancshares in a report on Friday, July 14th. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a hold rating and issued a $52.00 target price on shares of Commerce Bancshares in a report on Friday, July 14th. Stephens restated an equal weight rating and issued a $56.00 target price (up previously from $52.00) on shares of Commerce Bancshares in a report on Monday, July 17th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Commerce Bancshares from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and six have given a hold rating to the company’s stock. Commerce Bancshares currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $54.50.

Commerce Bancshares (CBSH) opened at 55.03 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $5.59 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.94 and a beta of 0.81. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $56.86 and a 200-day moving average price of $56.39. Commerce Bancshares has a 12-month low of $45.37 and a 12-month high of $60.61.

Commerce Bancshares (NASDAQ:CBSH) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 13th. The financial services provider reported $0.75 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.05. Commerce Bancshares had a return on equity of 12.01% and a net margin of 23.79%. The company had revenue of $305.89 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $309.44 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.70 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Commerce Bancshares will post $2.94 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 25th. Investors of record on Friday, September 8th will be issued a dividend of $0.225 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 7th. This represents a $0.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.64%. Commerce Bancshares’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 32.64%.

In related news, Chairman David W. Kemper sold 10,132 shares of Commerce Bancshares stock in a transaction on Friday, July 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.83, for a total transaction of $585,933.56. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 1,270,757 shares in the company, valued at $73,487,877.31. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Jeffery D. Aberdeen sold 687 shares of Commerce Bancshares stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.09, for a total value of $40,594.83. Following the sale, the insider now owns 40,232 shares in the company, valued at $2,377,308.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 48,099 shares of company stock worth $2,643,431 over the last quarter. 4.30% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of CBSH. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Commerce Bancshares by 2.9% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 8,599,122 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $488,688,000 after buying an additional 246,065 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Commerce Bancshares by 1.1% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,591,937 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $431,451,000 after buying an additional 82,095 shares during the period. FMR LLC raised its stake in shares of Commerce Bancshares by 2.0% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 2,029,867 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $115,357,000 after buying an additional 40,600 shares during the period. Lazard Asset Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Commerce Bancshares by 27.1% in the second quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 1,448,515 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $82,318,000 after buying an additional 308,460 shares during the period. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Commerce Bancshares by 5.0% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 1,288,663 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $72,371,000 after buying an additional 61,106 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.19% of the company’s stock.

About Commerce Bancshares

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, mortgage banking, 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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