NBC’s increased dividend may placate investor concerns
TORONTO: National Bank of Canada's first quarterly dividend increase in about three years may placate investor concerns about dividend growth at other Canadian lenders, analysts said.
The Montreal-based bank lifted its dividend by 4 cents, or 6.5 percent, to 66 cents a share, according to a statement yesterday after markets closed. It was the first increase in two years for any of Canada's six main banks.
"With ' dividend fever' seemingly once again taking hold of the (National) quote in recent days, the market should be placated" by the increase, said Sumit Malhotra, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Markets in Toronto.
The dividend was raised after fourth-quarter profit topped analysts' estimates. Net income for the period ended Oct. 31 climbed to C$287 million ($280 million), or C$1.66 a share, from C$241 million, or C$1.39, a year earlier. National, the first lender to report fourth-quarter results, was forecast to earn C$1.57 a share, based on a Bloomberg survey of eight analysts.
National Bank's increase surpassed the Bloomberg Dividend Forecast of 64 cents a share. -PB News