NBC’s in­creased div­i­dend may pla­cate in­vestor con­cerns

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

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

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