National Bank of Canada raised its quarterly dividend and reported its second-quarter profit fell compared with a year ago, as it faced higher non-interest expenses and increased provisions for bad loans.
The Montreal-based bank said Wednesday it will now pay a quarterly dividend of $1.02 per share, up from 97 cents.
The increased payment to shareholders came as National Bank reported a profit of $847 million or $2.38 per diluted share for the quarter ended April 30, down from a profit of $889 million or $2.53 per diluted share a year earlier.
Revenue totalled $2.48 billion in the quarter, up from $2.44 billion in the same quarter last year, while the bank’s provisions for credit losses amounted to $85 million, up from $3 million a year earlier.
On an adjusted basis, National Bank says it earned $2.38 per diluted share, down from an adjusted profit of $2.53 per diluted share in the same quarter last year.
Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of $2.40 per share, according to estimates compiled by financial markets data firm Refinitiv.
“Our defensive posture with strong capital and liquidity positions and prudent levels of allowances for credit losses will continue to support profitable growth and help us navigate the uncertainty that may lie ahead,” National Bank chief executive Laurent Ferreira said in a statement.
National Bank said its personal and commercial banking division earned $335 million in its second quarter, up from $293 million a year earlier, helped by revenue growth, offset in part by higher non-interest expenses and higher provisions for credit losses.
The bank’s wealth management operations earned $178 million in its latest quarter, up from $163 million in the second quarter of 2022.
Meanwhile, the bank’s financial markets business earned $268 million in its latest quarter, down from $287 million a year earlier, while its U.S. specialty finance and international business earned $128 million, down from $152 million a year ago.
The bank’s other category reported a loss of $62 million in the second quarter compared with a loss of $6 million in the same quarter last year.