UPDATE 3-RBC raises dividend as profits rise, lifted by capital markets

Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:23pm EDT
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(Adds executive comments, share price move, board appointment)

By Euan Rocha

TORONTO Aug 22 (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Canada on Friday reported a bigger-than-expected increase in quarterly earnings, driven by strong results from its wealth management and capital markets divisions.

Canada's largest bank also boosted its quarterly dividend, as widely expected, by roughly 6 percent to 75 Canadian cents a share.

Shares in the bank hit a lifetime high of C$82.15 early on Friday before easing 1.2 percent to C$80.67 on a negative day on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

"Overall the results are better than what we expected," said Morningstar analyst Dan Werner, noting executives on its conference call "tried to temper the analyst community a little bit in terms of expectations."

RBC reported net income of C$2.38 billion ($2.17 billion), or C$1.59 a share, for the third quarter ended July 31, compared with C$2.29 billion, or C$1.51 a share, a year earlier.

The increase came despite a slight drop in profit from RBC's core personal and commercial banking business after the sale of its Jamaica operations.

When RBC announced the sale to Sagicor Group Jamaica Ltd in January, it said it expected to lose about C$60 million from the transaction, partly due to a goodwill writedown.   Continued...