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COMMERCE BANCORP QUARTERLY EARNINGS AT ALL-TIME HIGH

 COMMERCE BANCORP QUARTERLY EARNINGS AT ALL-TIME HIGH
 CHERRY HILL, N.J., April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Commerce Bancorp, Inc.


(NASDAQ: COBA) reported record earnings from operations for the first quarter of 1992, it was announced today by Vernon W. Hill II, chairman of the multibank holding company based here.
 Net income totaled $2,108,000 compared to $140,000 for the first quarter a year ago. Hill said, "We are pleased by our continued earnings improvement during the economic recession. Earnings from operations reached an all-time high, mainly due to a significant increase in net interest income, reduced loan loss provisions and effective control of overhead expenses."
 Hill further stated, "We continue to make progress in returning the company to its historical levels of profitability and asset quality, although much will depend upon the continuation of the current economic recovery."
 Total assets exceeded $1.191 billion, up from $923 million a year ago, a 29 percent increase. Total deposits increased to $1.121 billion, a $264 million increase, or 31 percent above deposits of $857 million at March 31, 1991.
 Net income per share (fully diluted) was $.36 for the first quarter compared to a net loss of $.06 for the first quarter of 1991.
 Net interest income for the quarter totaled $11,047,000 up from $8,808,000 a year ago, a 25 percent increase. This increase was attributable to volume increases in investment securities, a reduction in overall funding costs, and an improved net interest margin.
 Hill also stated, "We continue to monitor our asset quality and we are encouraged by the apparent stabilization in the level of non- performing loans and assets during the past four quarters." Non- performing assets and loans past due 90 days or more totaled $25,335,000 at March 31, 1992, and represented 2.11 percent of total assets, down from 2.68 percent at March 31, 1991.
 Shareholders' equity as a percent of total assets at March 31, 1992, was 5.03 percent. The company's risk-based capital ratios, Tier 1 and Total Capital, were approximately 7.69 percent and 8.88 percent, respectively, and the leverage ratio was 4.92 percent. The company and its banking subsidiaries continue to meet or exceed existing regulatory capital requirements.
 Commerce Bancorp, Inc. is the largest independent banking company serving southern New Jersey. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, the company is a multibank holding company with 30 branch offices serving metropolitan Philadelphia and southern New Jersey.
 COMMERCE BANCORP, INC.
 Selected Consolidated Financial Data
 (Unaudited; dollars in thousands)
 Three months ended March 31 1992 1991 Pct. Chg.
 Income statement data:
 Net interest income $11,047 $8,808 25
 Provision for loan losses 869 1,665 (48)
 Net income 2,108 140 1,406
 Per-share data(A):
 Net income -- primary $.39 ($.06) 750
 Net income -- fully diluted .36 -- --
 Book value -- primary $10.77 $9.60 12
 Book value -- fully diluted 10.49 9.51 10
 Weighted average shares outstanding:
 Primary 4,445,731 4,338,106 --
 Fully diluted(B) 5,804,815 -- --
 Balance sheet data:
 Total assets 1,191,967 922,937 29
 Loans (net) 579,175 549,124 5
 Allowance for loan losses 8,647 7,333 18
 Investments 422,880 223,722 89
 Federal funds sold 66,100 48,450 36
 Total deposits 1,121,107 856,723 31
 Long-term debt 6,520 7,388 (12)
 Stockholders' equity 59,994 53,813 11
 Capital:
 Stockholders' equity to
 total assets (pct.) 5.03 5.83 --
 Risk-based capital ratios:
 Tier 1 (pct.) 7.69 7.75 --
 Total capital (pct.) 8.88 8.91 --
 Leverage ratio (pct.) 4.92 5.39 --
 (A) All per-share data has been adjusted for the 5 percent common stock dividend declared on Jan. 22, 1992.
 (B) Fully diluted earnings per share for the three-month period ended March 31, 1991, is not shown because the results are anti- dilutive.
 /delval/
 -0- 4/14/92
 /CONTACT: Vernon W. Hill II, chairman and president, or C. Edward Jordan Jr., executive vp, of Commerce Bancorp, 609-751-9000/
 (COBA) CO: Commerce Bancorp, Inc. ST: New Jersey IN: FIN SU: ERN


KA-MP -- PH023 -- 8296 04/14/92 12:49 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 14, 1992
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