Commerce Bancshares (CBSH)  in Kansas City, Mo., beat quarterly earnings estimates as its asset quality and fee income improved.

The $22.5 billion-asset company said Tuesday that its third-quarter earnings rose 3% from a year earlier, to $68.2 million. Earnings per share of 75 cents were 3 cents higher than the average analysts’ estimates from Bloomberg.

Commerce’s net interest income ticked up less than 1% from a year earlier, to $154.7 million. Noninterest income rose 5% from a year earlier, to $106.3 million, as bank-card fees rose 11%, to $43.9 million. Revenue from fees on deposit accounts, trusts and loans also rose.

Noninterest expenses rose 2% from a year earlier, to $156.3 million, as compensation costs were slightly higher.

Commerce’s loan-loss provision fell 26% from a year earlier, to $4.1 million. Net chargeoffs fell by 27% from the third quarter of 2012, to $6.6 million.

Commerce completed its $41 million purchase of the $261 million-asset Summit Bancshares in Tulsa, Okla., during the third quarter.

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