Scotia, National close out weak results season for Canada lenders

Fri Dec 5, 2014 1:26pm EST
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By Jeffrey Hodgson

TORONTO (Reuters) - Shares of Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO: Quote) weakened after the lenders reported quarterly results on Friday, closing out an earnings season in which Canadian banks largely disappointed investors.

Scotiabank, Canada's No. 3 lender, reported a weaker-than-expected profit, with earnings down in both its Canadian and international banking divisions.

National Bank of Canada, the country's sixth-largest lender, reported a higher profit largely in line with analysts' expectations, led by its financial markets and wealth management businesses.

Scotiabank shares fell 2.1 percent to C$66.13 in Toronto, while National declined 1.3 percent to C$49.75.

Banking stocks took a hit earlier this week after results from Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote) fell short of analysts' expectations. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) was the only other lender to meet them.

"It's the weakest I've seen in a while," said Edward Jones analyst Tom Lewandowski. "I would characterize it as good performance, just not that beating-expectations type of performance we saw previously."

Scotiabank said it earned C$1.4 billion ($1.23 billion), or C$1.10 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Oct. 31, down from C$1.7 billion, or C$1.29 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding notable items, the bank reported earnings of C$1.32 a share. Scotia noted that if amortization of intangibles and other one-time loan losses and adjustments were removed, core earnings per share were C$1.39.   Continued...