RBC Profit Up 12%, Bank Raises Dividend

Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE:RY) raised its quarterly dividend on Thursday after recording a nearly 12% jump in first-quarter profit.

The largest Canadian bank said it posted record results in consumer banking and wealth management, while also seeing higher investment advisory fees.

Net income for the latest period increased to $2.02 billion, or $1.33 a share, up from the $1.81 billion profit, or $1.19 a share, a year earlier. Adjusted per-share earnings exceeded Wall Street estimates of $1.29, checking in at $1.35.

Revenue climbed 4.5% to $7.73 billion from $7.41 billion the year-earlier period.

RBC lifted its quarterly dividend to 62 cents a share, up from 59 cents. It was the fourth dividend increase in two years for the bank.

“We believe our financial strength and competitive advantages position us to successfully manage through the ongoing industry headwinds, and continue to extend our lead in Canada, while selectively growing our presence globally,” RBC chief executive Gord Nixon said in a statement.

Loan-loss provisions jumped to $341 million from $261 million. Return on equity edged down to 19.6% compared to 19.7%.

Earnings from personal and commercial banking in the first quarter rose 11% to a record $1.09 billion. The bank said higher volumes during the period outweighed lower margins.

Wealth management earnings climbed 24% to $218 million, another record for RBC, partly on higher transaction volumes given improved equity markets.

RBC said its capital markets division recorded net income $454 million, a year-over-year increase of 25%.

Shares of RBC were up 1.42% to $62.92 a share in pre-market trading Thursday.