National Bank of Canada raised its dividend as it reported its fourth-quarter profit fell 4% compared with a year ago.
The Montreal-based bank said Wednesday it will up its quarterly payment to shareholders by five cents to 97 cents per share.
The increased payment came as National Bank said it earned $738 million or $2.08 per diluted share for the quarter ended Oct. 31, down from $769 million or $2.17 per diluted share in the same quarter last year. Revenue totalled $2.33 billion, up from $2.21 billion a year earlier.
Provisions for credit losses totalled $87 million in the fourth quarter compared with a recovery of $41 million a year ago.
National Bank said it earned $2.08 per diluted share on an adjusted basis in its latest quarter, down from an adjusted profit of $2.19 per diluted share in the same quarter last year.
Analysts on average had expected a profit of $2.24 per share, according to estimates compiled by financial markets data firm Refinitiv.
The results came as National Bank’s personal and commercial banking business earned $351 million in its fourth quarter, up from $311 million in the same quarter last year. Its financial markets business earned $205 million, down from $238 million a year ago.
Net income in the wealth management segment totalled $198 million in the quarter, a 24% increase from $160 million in the same period the previous year. Total revenues amounted to $613 million, up by $52 million or 9% from $561 million in 2021.
National Bank attributed the revenue growth to higher interest rates, with net interest income up by 64% year over year. Fee-based revenues, however, were down by 3% as declining markets led to a decrease in assets.
Assets under administration were down by 5% year over year to $616.2 billion; assets under management decreased by 4% to $112.4 billion.
For its full year ended Oct. 31, National Bank said its overall profit amounted to $3.38 billion or $9.61 per diluted share on $9.65 billion in revenue compared with a profit of $3.14 billion or $8.85 per diluted share on $8.93 billion in revenue during the same period a year earlier.
“We generated superior organic growth across all our business segments and the operating leverage was positive for the year,” National Bank chief executive Laurent Ferreira said in a statement.
“We maintain prudent allowances for credit losses and robust capital ratios. We continue to prioritize deploying capital to support organic growth, investing in efficiency improvements and returning capital to shareholders.”