Laurentian Bank reports Q4 up from year ago, raises quarterly dividend

MONTREAL — Laurentian Bank of Canada raised its dividend Tuesday as it reported that its fourth-quarter profit was more than double what it was a year ago.

The bank (TSX:LB) increased its quarterly payment to shareholders by a penny to 63 cents per share.

The higher dividend came as Laurentian reported fourth-quarter net income of $58.6 million or $1.42 per diluted share, up from $18.4 million or 45 cents per diluted share a year ago.

Revenue for the three months ended Oct. 31 totalled nearly $268 million, up from $236.4 million in the same quarter last year.

Provisions for credit losses increased to $11.5 million for the quarter, up from $10.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2016.

The bank’s common equity tier 1 capital ratio was 7.9 per cent in its fourth quarter, down from 8.0 per cent a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the bank said it earned $66.5 million or $1.63 per diluted share for the quarter, up from $50.5 million or $1.47 per diluted share a year ago.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.55 per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

“2017 has been a successful year in which we have made significant progress on our performance and our transformation plan,” Laurentian chief executive Francois Desjardins said in a statement.

“Our move from traditional to digital banking is well underway with the implementation of the first wave of core banking, the simplification of our product offer and process improvements.”

For its full financial year, Laurentian earned $206.5 million or $5.40 per diluted share, up from $151.9 million or $4.55 per share in its 2016 financial year.

Laurentian’s adjusted profit for the year totalled $230.7 million or $6.09 per diluted share, up from $187.0 million or $5.70 per diluted share in the previous share.

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