Scotiabank Q2 net income up from year ago, but falls short of expectations

TORONTO — The Bank of Nova Scotia’s second-quarter profits rose slightly on strong contributions from its international business, but still fell short of analyst expectations as its provisions for loan losses surged in connection with a wave of acquisitions.

While Canada’s third-largest lender saw increases in net income during the three month-period ended April 30 from its international footprint, particularly in Latin America, and its domestic banking arm, its global banking and markets division saw profits dip.

The bank’s provisions for credit losses, or money set aside for bad loans, in its second quarter rose sharply in connection with several recent acquisitions.

But Scotiabank chief executive Brian Porter anticipates the lender’s performance will improve in the second half of its 2019 financial year.

“We expect our financial performance to be better than the first half of this year for a number of reasons,” he told analysts on a conference call Tuesday. ”Further contributions from recent acquisitions, along with the positive benefits from our integration efforts; secondly, continued strong growth in International Banking; thirdly, stronger second half performance in Canadian Banking and Global Banking and Markets.”

Scotiabank reported net income of $2.26 billion or $1.73 per diluted share for the three-month period ended April 30, up from $2.18 billion or $1.70 per diluted share a year earlier.

Adjusted for items such as costs related to various acquisitions — including Canadian investment firm Jarislowsky Fraser and Peru’s Banco Cencosud — Scotiabank earned $2.26 billion or $1.70 per diluted share for its second quarter, up from $2.19 billion or $1.71 per diluted share during the same period in 2018 when it had fewer shares outstanding.

Analysts on average had expcted a profit of $1.74 per share, according to those surveyed by Thomson Reuters Eikon.

The bank’s provisions for credit losses, or money set aside for bad loans, amounted to $873 million during the quarter, up from $534 million a year earlier. This figure, however, includes so-called Day 1 provisions for credit losses related to Scotiabank’s recent acquisitions in Peru and the Dominican Republic as required by accounting rules. Adjusted for this, the bank’s provisions for credit losses amounted to $722 million.

The Canadian lender has made several acquisitions over the past year, including the purchase of a majority stake in Chilean bank BBVA Chile, doctor-focused financial services company MD Financial Management, and Banco Domincano del Progreso, as well as several divestitures of operations in markets including Grenada and St. Lucia. The moves were part of Scotiabank’s strategy to sharpen its focus and increase scale in core geographies and businesses, the bank has said.

Scotiabank’s earnings miss this quarter was driven by higher loan losses, analysts said.

“This was a better quarter in many ways than a weak Q1/F19, but lands in roughly the same place … below our estimates, this time owing to modestly higher loan losses (including on performing loans) and higher expenses,” said CIBC Capital Markets analyst Robert Sedran in a note to clients.

Adjusted provisions for credit losses were higher than expected, said Gabriel Dechaine, an analyst with National Bank of Canada Financial Markets, noting that its estimate was $690 million.

Scotiabank’s International business growth was good, but underlying growth in its domestic personal and commercial banking arm was flat, he added.

“Capital markets earnings growth was negative, though trading and advisory revenues exceeded our forecasts,” he said in a note to clients.

The lender’s Canadian banking division posted net income of $1.05 billion up three per cent from $1.02 billion during the second quarter of 2018. After adjusting for acquisition-related costs, net income was $1.06 billion, up four per cent. The bank said the uptick was due largely to higher revenue driven by loan and deposit growth and the impact of acquisitions. This was partly offset by higher non-interest expenses and higher provision for credit losses, among other things.

Its international banking division generated net income of $769 million, up 3.2 per cent from $745 million a year earlier. After adjusting for acquisition and divestiture related costs, the division’s net income amounted to $787 million, up 15 per cent from a year ago. Scotiabank, which has invested heavily in its footprint across Latin America, said the growth was driven by higher net interest income due to strong loan growth in the Pacific Alliance countries of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, as well as the impact of acquisitions and higher non-interest income. However, this was offset by higher non-interest expenses and higher provisions for credit losses, among other things.

Scotiabank’s global banking and markets arm, however, reported net income of $420 million for the quarter, marking a six per cent drop from $447 million a year earlier. The bank said this stemmed from lower net-interest income, higher non-interest expenses and lower recovery of provisions for credit losses. This was partially offset by higher non-interest income, the favourable impact of foreign currency translation and lower income taxes.

The bank’s common equity tier one capital ratio, a key measure of its financial health, was at 11.1 per cent as of April 30. This was in line with the prior quarter, but down from 12 per cent during the second quarter of 2018.

Scotiabank’s earnings come after the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank delivered their second quarter results last week.

CIBC reported a slight increase in second-quarter profit, but missed analyst estimates amid sluggish loan growth in personal and small business banking. RBC, however, saw a seven per cent boost in net income for the quarter and beat expectations on strong loan growth and higher interest rates at its personal and commercial banking business, and despite an uptick in provisions for loan losses. TD’s second quarter earnings also surpassed analyst estimates on growth in its retail operations in Canada and south of the border.

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