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Commerce Bancorp

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BUSINESS
May 18, 2005 | By Joseph N. DiStefano INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
More than 200 investors and employees of Commerce Bancorp passed a line of 75 sign-waving, chanting protesters at the company's annual meeting in Mount Laurel last night. A group of 60 business owners, customers and supporters from the Pennsauken Mart were joined by 15 Camden activists who are fighting the proposed demolition of the city's Cramer Hill neighborhood. The Pennsauken Mart is scheduled for destruction by the Camden County Improvement Authority. Both places are targeted for new developments that the critics say are being pushed by George Norcross, South Jersey's Democratic leader and Commerce Bancorp's vice chairman.
BUSINESS
July 10, 1993 | By Andrew Cassel, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Commerce Bancorp Inc. yesterday said its second-quarter earnings rose on strong growth in deposits and assets. At the same time, its nonperforming assets fell to $31.7 million in the quarter ended June 30, from $33.6 million as of March 31. The Cherry Hill bank holding company, which operates 33 branches in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, said it expected the growth to continue, projecting assets of about $2 billion by the end of 1993. Commerce will complete on July 16 its acquisition of four offices of Anchor Savings Bank, with about $211 million in deposits.
BUSINESS
October 17, 2006 | By Joseph N. DiStefano INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Shares in Commerce Bancorp Inc. fell yesterday as the Cherry Hill bank reported flat profit and slower growth. Net income for the quarter ended Sept. 30 was $79.7 million, little changed from $79.5 million in the same quarter last year. Profit per share fell to 41 cents, from 45 cents a year earlier; the company has more stock outstanding now. Commerce shares fell 29 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $36.14 yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange. Deposits grew 19 percent to $39 billion in the year ended Sept.
NEWS
November 2, 2006 | By Joseph N. DiStefano and John Shiffman INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
One year after two of its former Pennsylvania executives were sentenced to prison, Commerce Bancorp Inc. says federal prosecutors in Philadelphia are no longer investigating the company. After "several inquiries" by the office of U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan in 2004 and 2005, "we were recently advised by the U.S. Attorney's Office that it has concluded its investigations without any action against us," Commerce said in a statement filed yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
BUSINESS
June 3, 2004 | By Todd Mason INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Investors bid shares of Commerce Bancorp Inc. higher yesterday after the fast-growing bank said its financial performance was holding up in the face of rising interest rates. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the Cherry Hill bank holding company said it would meet analysts' earnings expectations of $66 million, or 78 cents a share, for the second quarter, and $265 million, or $3.19 a share, for the full year. In last year's second quarter, Commerce reported earnings of $45.3 million, or 63 cents a share.
BUSINESS
January 14, 2005 | By Joseph N. DiStefano INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
As expected, Commerce Bancorp Inc. reported sharply higher profit for 2004, as business from new branches, loans and deposits more than made up for higher expenses due to new hires and rising interest rates. The Cherry Hill-based bank earned $273 million last year, a 41 percent jump from a profit of $194 million, or $2.58 per share, in 2003. (Per-share profit rose only 26 percent, to $3.26, as the bank issued new stock to fund its growth.) "The numbers are pretty much the same . . . up again," said chairman Vernon W. Hill II. He said he would rather investors focus on Commerce's stock price, which rose 22 percent during the year, compared with just 7 percent for the Philadelphia Stock Exchange index of 24 major banks.
BUSINESS
October 16, 2003 | By Todd Mason INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The area's major banks breezed through the summer's wild swings in interest rates and mortgage refinancings, judging by an impressive crop of earnings reports yesterday. Wachovia Corp. reported third-quarter earnings of 88 cents a share, before merger and restructuring charges, handily beating analysts' consensus forecast of 81 cents in polls by Thomson First Call. Meanwhile, FleetBoston Financial Corp. and Commerce Bancorp Inc. each topped analysts' expectations by 3 cents a share, earning 64 cents and 67 cents, respectively.
BUSINESS
January 21, 2005 | By Joseph N. DiStefano INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It's earnings season, and investors are listening in on teleconferences and Webcasts as Wall Street analysts ask corporate executives to explain their companies' financial performance in 2004. But anyone who thinks that such events always amount to an uncensored grilling by shareholder advocates might consider what happened at Commerce Bancorp Inc.'s 55-minute question-and-answer session in its Jan. 14 teleconference. Four Wall Street analysts who have rated Commerce "sell" or "underperform" say they were ignored when they tried to question Commerce chairman Vernon Hill and chief financial officer Douglas Pauls on the Cherry Hill company's results.
BUSINESS
April 14, 2004 | By Todd Mason INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Continuing its rapid growth, Commerce Bancorp reported yesterday record first-quarter earnings of $62 million, or 75 cents a share, up 44 percent from the same period last year. The Cherry Hill bank added eight branches and $2.2 billion in deposits during the quarter, pushing the respective tallies to 278 locations and $22.9 billion. But the bank's shares fell $3.97, or 6 percent, to close at $62.58 in New York Stock Exchange trading, as investors worried about how the bank would fare in an environment of rising interest rates.
BUSINESS
March 17, 2007 | By Harold Brubaker INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Commerce Bancorp Inc. yesterday revised its fourth-quarter earnings down by $16 million, or 20 percent, to account for tax liabilities. The Cherry Hill company also said it had found weaknesses in related internal financial reporting controls. The problem involved "a very specific state tax issue that has been addressed and corrected," bank spokesman David Flaherty said last night. The fast-growing Cherry Hill bank on March 2 asked regulators for 15 extra days to complete its annual 10-K financial report and warned that it might restate earnings for 2004 and 2005 because of incorrect provisions for state and federal income taxes.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
November 30, 2012 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
TD Bank , the giant Canadian lender, has sued Commerce Bancorp founder Vernon Hill , claiming he wrongfully stole his own ideas - which the bank says it acquired when it bought Commerce in 2007 - to publish a new book, Fans! Not Customers: How to Create Growth Companies in a No-Growth World. The copyright-infringement suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Camden by TD lawyer William Tambussi , who also represented Commerce back when Hill was building the company into the biggest bank based in the Philadelphia area, claims Hill "irreparably harmed" TD when he published large chunks of a manuscript he originally wrote when he was still the Commerce boss.
BUSINESS
November 19, 2008 | By Harold Brubaker INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
TD Bank Financial Group, which bought Cherry Hill-based Commerce Bancorp Inc. in March, was quick to surrender the Commerce brand when challenged by a small Massachusetts bank. But when Commerce founder Vernon W. Hill II included the red "C" and other intellectual property in a presentation planned for a banking conference, TD went to court to block him. And now it has won. Earlier this year, TD had dumped the Commerce brand and the bank's big red "C" in favor of its blocky green "TD," after Commerce Bank & Trust Co. Inc., of Worcester, Mass.
BUSINESS
July 24, 2008 | By Harold Brubaker INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It seemed a victory for the legacy of Cherry Hill's Commerce Bank when new Canadian owner Toronto Dominion said it would operate under the TD Commerce brand in the United States. Then it ran into the 12-branch Commerce Bank & Trust Co. in Worcester, Mass., which won a preliminary injunction in federal court blocking the use of the TD Commerce brand where it has branches. The upshot is that Toronto Dominion said yesterday that it would drop the Commerce brand from its plans and rename its nearly 1,100 Commerce and TD Banknorth branches TD Bank.
BUSINESS
January 26, 2008 | By Harold Brubaker INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Commerce Bancorp Inc. yesterday reported a 47 percent drop in fourth-quarter profits on higher loan losses, charges related to the sale of its insurance brokerage and losses on investments. The Cherry Hill bank, which has scheduled a shareholder vote Feb. 6 on its sale to Toronto-Dominion Bank, said its fourth-quarter net income was $33.4 million, or 17 cents per share, compared with $62.8 million, or 32 cents per share, in the same period of 2006. Commerce shares fell 59 cents yesterday, to close at $36.57 on the New York Stock Exchange.
NEWS
January 25, 2008 | By Harold Brubaker, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Commerce Bancorp Inc. today reported a 47 percent drop in fourth quarter profits on higher loan losses, charges related to the sale of its insurance brokerage and losses on investments. The Cherry Hill bank, which has scheduled a shareholder vote Feb. 6 on its sale to Toronto-Dominion Bank, said its fourth quarter net income was $33.4 million, or 17 cents per share, compared with $62.8 million, or 32 cents per share, in the same period of 2006. Commerce shares were up 7 cents, to $37.23 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
BUSINESS
January 18, 2008 | By Harold Brubaker INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A federal judge in Camden rejected a California lawyer's attempt yesterday to block a recent settlement of shareholder lawsuits against directors and executives of Commerce Bancorp Inc. The San Diego lawyer, Benjamin Rozwood, said after the hearing that he would appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit next week. U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler is overseeing 10 state and federal lawsuits filed in October after the Cherry Hill bank's sale to TD Bank Financial Group for $8.5 billion was announced Oct. 2. Under the settlement proposed Jan. 4, the deal's termination fee - which Commerce would owe to TD Bank if the sale failed to close - is $255 million instead of $332 million, and the period during which it is payable was reduced to 12 months from 15. The settlement also required additional disclosures and corrections to the proxy statement concerning the sale.
BUSINESS
January 17, 2008 | By Harold Brubaker INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Commerce Bancorp Inc. is seeking $1.6 million in a lawsuit against InterArch Inc., a design firm owned by the wife of the bank's former chairman and chief executive officer, Vernon W. Hill II. The Cherry Hill bank wants to deduct that amount from $2.9 million that Shirley Hill and InterArch said the bank owed the Mount Laurel design and architecture firm. The lawsuit, filed this week in the Superior Court of New Jersey in Camden, stems from a mid-1990s dispute between InterArch and DiMaria Construction Inc. DiMaria, which was hired to install the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system in a Commerce training facility in Mount Laurel, won a legal settlement after being fired before the job was completed.
BUSINESS
January 16, 2008 | By John Shiffman and Harold Brubaker INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Vernon W. Hill II, ousted in the summer as chairman and chief executive officer of Commerce Bancorp Inc. amid a federal probe of insider dealings, has sued the bank he founded for $50 million. The lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court in Washington, alleges that Office of the Comptroller of the Currency regulators "set upon a course to drive Mr. Hill out of Commerce based on unsubstantiated allegations. " The agency's six-month investigation focused on the long-disclosed side businesses that Hill and his wife, Shirley, operated: renting real estate to and furnishing Commerce Bank branches - deals that earned the Hills roughly $72 million in 10 years.
BUSINESS
January 5, 2008 | By Harold Brubaker INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
George E. Norcross III, a leading Democratic Party figure in South Jersey, got his insurance business back and $7.6 million in special payments from the pending sale of Commerce Bancorp Inc. Commerce disclosed yesterday in a proxy statement that it received $121 million from the previously reported sale of Commerce Banc Insurance Services Inc. to its founder, Norcross, and partners. The proxy set Feb. 6 as the date shareholders in the Cherry Hill bank will get to vote on the sale of Commerce to TD Bank Financial Group of Toronto.
BUSINESS
October 26, 2007 | By Harold Brubaker INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Commerce Bancorp Inc. said yesterday that the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating insider dealings at the company in a reprise of a probe by federal bank regulators that led to the ouster in June of founder Vernon W. Hill II. The Cherry Hill bank - which agreed this month to a buyout by TD Bank Financial Group of Toronto in an $8.5 billion deal - said the investigation was examining the bank's dealings with former officers, directors,...
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