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Dec 4, 2019

National Bank boosts dividend as it reports higher profit

RBC falters while National earnings shine


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MONTREAL -- National Bank of Canada raised its quarterly dividend as it reported its fourth-quarter profit rose to $604 million compared with $566 million in the same period a year ago.

The bank says it will now pay a quarterly dividend of 71 cents per common share, up three cents per share from its previous payment.

The increased cash for shareholders came as National Bank reported its fourth-quarter profit amounted to $1.67 per diluted share, up from $1.52 per diluted share a year ago.

The increase, the bank says, was driven by growth across all of its business segments.

Excluding specific items, National Bank says it earned $1.69 per diluted share for the quarter, up from $1.52 in the same quarter last year.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.62 per share, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

National Bank chief executive Louis Vachon said it was a strong year for the bank.

"The outlook in Quebec remains favourable and we continue to take advantage of Canada's broader economic soundness," Vachon said in a statement.

"In the current environment, we are comfortable with our positioning and we remain vigilant in balancing our objectives of sustainable growth with prudent risk management."