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CBSH Declares Dividend but Shares Fall

Zacks Equity Research

Shares of Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (CBSH) dipped 0.3% despite the announcement of a 5% stock dividend on Nov 1. The stock dividend will be paid on Dec 16 to shareholders of record as of Nov 29.

Further, shareholders will be receiving cash for fractional shares. The cash amount will be determined on the basis of Commerce Bancshares’ share price on Nov 29.

Moreover, Commerce Bancshares announced a regular cash dividend of 22.5 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on Dec 16 to shareholders of record as of Nov 29. Notably, this dividend will not be paid on any share issued in connection with the 5% stock dividend.

Commerce Bancshares continues to meaningfully enhance shareholders’ value. Even during the financial crisis, the company consistently hiked its quarterly dividend and paid yearly 5% stock dividend as well. The last rise in quarterly dividend occurred in Feb 2012 when the company increased the payout by nearly 5% to the present 22.5 cents per share.

Further, Commerce Bancshares has a share repurchase program in place. In July, the company announced the buyback of additional shares, thereby bringing the total authorization to 4 million shares. In the third quarter, the company repurchased 547,000 shares for $23.9 million.

Additionally, in Sep 2013, Commerce Bancshares completed the acquisition of Summit Bancshares, Inc. of Tulsa and Oklahoma City for $44 million. This was the first major acquisition by the company since the financial crisis. Earlier in 2007, the company had acquired Commerce Bank, while in 2006 it acquired South Tulsa Financial Corporation and West Pointe Bancorp, Inc.

Other banks that are continuing to reward shareholders include International Bancshares Corp. (IBOC), Westamerica Bancorp. (WABC) and Associated Banc-Corp (ASBC). These banks recently announced a hike in their cash dividends. International Bancshares raised its semi-annual cash dividend by 15% to 23 cents per share, Westamerica announced a 2.7% increase in its quarterly cash dividend to 38 cents and Associated Banc-Corp raised its quarterly cash dividend by 12.5% to 9 cents.

Commerce Bancshares currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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Read the Full Research Report on CBSH
Read the Full Research Report on ASBC

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