Commerce Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ:CBSH) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors 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.”

Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Piper Jaffray Cos. assumed coverage on Commerce Bancshares in a report on Monday, July 11th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $43.50 price objective for the company. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on shares of Commerce Bancshares in a report on Thursday, July 7th. Finally, Morgan Stanley restated a “hold” rating on shares of Commerce Bancshares in a report on Tuesday, May 24th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and five have assigned a hold rating to the company. Commerce Bancshares has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $45.08.

Commerce Bancshares (NASDAQ:CBSH) traded up 0.72% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $49.08. The stock had a trading volume of 57,690 shares. Commerce Bancshares has a 1-year low of $37.44 and a 1-year high of $51.30. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.74 billion, a PE ratio of 18.80 and a beta of 0.81. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $48.91 and its 200-day moving average is $47.18.

Commerce Bancshares (NASDAQ:CBSH) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 13th. The financial services provider reported $0.70 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.71 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Commerce Bancshares will post $2.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 26th. Investors of record on Friday, September 9th will be given a dividend of $0.225 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 7th. This represents a $0.90 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.85%. Commerce Bancshares’s payout ratio is 34.50%.

In related news, Vice Chairman Jonathan M. Kemper sold 50,000 shares of Commerce Bancshares stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.22, for a total transaction of $2,361,000.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 1,242,407 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $58,666,458.54. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Charles G. Kim sold 5,000 shares of Commerce Bancshares stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.04, for a total value of $240,200.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 82,551 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,965,750.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 4.60% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its position in Commerce Bancshares by 142.8% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 555,447 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $26,606,000 after buying an additional 326,694 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in Commerce Bancshares by 88.0% in the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 518,053 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $24,827,000 after buying an additional 242,451 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Commerce Bancshares by 3.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,706,151 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $321,225,000 after buying an additional 217,230 shares in the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC boosted its position in Commerce Bancshares by 72.2% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 495,525 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $22,274,000 after buying an additional 207,833 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Martingale Asset Management L P boosted its position in Commerce Bancshares by 76.5% in the second quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P now owns 447,072 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $21,416,000 after buying an additional 193,807 shares in the last quarter. 60.87% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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, corporate, investment, trust and asset management products and services to individuals and businesses. The Company operates through three segments: Consumer, Commercial and Wealth.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:CBSH

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