Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBSH) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Monday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $61.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

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, persistently rising expenses (mainly due to increase in personnel costs) and significant exposure to risky loans remains major headwinds.”

A number of other brokerages have also weighed in on CBSH. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a hold rating and issued a $52.00 price target on shares of Commerce Bancshares in a report on Friday, July 14th. Stephens reissued an equal weight rating and issued a $56.00 price target (up previously from $52.00) on shares of Commerce Bancshares in a report on Monday, July 17th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Commerce Bancshares from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. Barclays PLC set a $58.00 price target on shares of Commerce Bancshares and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Sunday, July 16th. Finally, UBS AG lowered shares of Commerce Bancshares to an underperform rating in a report on Thursday, August 10th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $54.50.

Commerce Bancshares (NASDAQ:CBSH) opened at 54.58 on Monday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $56.99 and its 200 day moving average price is $56.42. Commerce Bancshares has a 52-week low of $45.37 and a 52-week high of $60.61. The stock has a market cap of $5.55 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.78 and a beta of 0.81.

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

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 25th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 8th will be issued a dividend of $0.225 per share. This represents a $0.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.65%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 7th. Commerce Bancshares’s dividend payout ratio is presently 32.64%.

In other news, insider Jeffery D. Aberdeen sold 687 shares of Commerce Bancshares stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.09, for a total transaction of $40,594.83. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 40,232 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,377,308.88. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, 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 transaction, the chairman now directly owns 1,270,757 shares in the company, valued at $73,487,877.31. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 48,099 shares of company stock valued at $2,643,431 in the last ninety days. Company insiders own 4.30% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Commerce Bancshares by 5,297.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,509,842 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $421,752,000 after buying an additional 7,370,707 shares in the last quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Commerce Bancshares during the first quarter worth $64,025,000. Nuance Investments LLC boosted its position in shares of Commerce Bancshares by 814.4% in the second quarter. Nuance Investments LLC now owns 955,417 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $54,296,000 after buying an additional 850,930 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Commerce Bancshares by 10.4% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 8,353,057 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $469,107,000 after buying an additional 785,218 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Karp Capital Management Corp purchased a new position in shares of Commerce Bancshares during the first quarter worth $36,174,000. 61.42% 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, 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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Analyst Recommendations for Commerce Bancshares (NASDAQ:CBSH)

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