Commerce Bancshares (CBSH) in Kansas City, Mo., reported second-quarter income of $74.3 million, up more than 7% from a year earlier, as credit quality continued to improve.

The $20.7 billion-asset company said Thursday that it earned 84 cents per share, beating analysts' estimates by 12 cents. For the six months that ended June 30, Commerce earned $140.1 million, up 8% from the same period a year earlier.

Net chargeoffs fell 46%, to $8.2 million, from a year earlier as Commerce was able to recover several large commercial loans totaling $3.6 million. Nonperforming assets fell 20% to $82.3 million. The provision for loan losses declined 57% to $5.2 million.

Noninterest income declined slightly to $100.8 million as trust fees rose almost 6% to $23.8 million and bank card transaction fees fell 7% to $38.4 million. The company's noninterest expense totaled $150.7 million, down about 2% from a year earlier.

The bank's net interest income rose less than 1% to $165.1 million as interest expense declined 29%, to $9.5 million, from a year earlier.

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