National Bank of Canada Earnings Top Estimates

By Cara Lombardo Features Dow Jones Newswires

National Bank of Canada (NA.T) on Friday said its earnings rose 71% in its fiscal fourth quarter, as its banking and wealth-management businesses rapidly expanded.

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The Montreal-based bank posted net income of 525 million Canadian dollars ($408 million), or C$1.39 a share, up from C$307 million, or C$0.78 a share, in the same quarter last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected C$474 million.

The bank reported adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of C$1.40 a share, up from C$1.24 a year ago. Analysts were looking for C$1.38.

National Bank of Canada also raised its quarterly dividend to C$0.60 from C$0.58.

"The fourth quarter concludes a record year for the bank in which its net income exceeded C$2 billion for the first time," said National Bank Chief Executive Louis Vachon. "This excellent performance was driven by revenue growth across all of the Bank's business segments and by an effective management of operating costs."

Non-interest expenses dropped 16% in the quarter, though most of the difference stemmed from a sizable restructuring charge last year. Excluding certain items, non-interest expenses rose to C$971 million from C$954 million.

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The bank's provision for credit losses rose to C$70 million from C$59 million a year ago, mainly due to higher provisions for the bank's U.S. specialty-finance and international segments.

Write to Cara Lombardo at cara.lombardo@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 01, 2017 07:17 ET (12:17 GMT)