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Aug 26, 2020

National tops Q3 profit estimates as credit loss provisions fall

Still confident in Canadian banks long term: Kingwest & Company's Fogler

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National Bank of Canada's profit was steady in its fiscal third quarter as the bank set aside far less cash for loans that could go bad.

Net income for the three months ending July 31 was $602 million, compared to $608 million a year earlier. On a per share basis, National earned $1.66; analysts, on average, expected $1.32 in earnings per share.

Provisions for credit losses in the latest quarter totaled $143 million, down from $504 million in previous quarter.

Similar to the other Canadian banks that have reported this week, National’s core banking operations suffered in the latest quarter as earnings from that division slumped to $233 million from $274 million a year earlier.

However, the bank posted single-digit profit gains in its wealth management and financial markets operations.

"Since the gradual reopening of the economy, many indicators have improved, but the situation remains uncertain, especially given the potential for a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic," said president and CEO Louis Vachon in a release Wednesday.

"While it’s still too early to predict how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the economy in the long term, the bank is in a strong position with a solid balance sheet, defensive positioning, quality credit portfolios, and a prudent approach to provisioning.ʺ