CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-Canada's RBC reports higher profit, but capital markets weigh

Wed Dec 3, 2014 8:46am EST
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(Corrects net income figure in 10th paragraph to billion from million)

By Jeffrey Hodgson

TORONTO Dec 3 (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Canada reported a stronger fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday as gains at its core personal and commercial banking and wealth management businesses offset weakness at its capital markets arm.

Canada's largest bank reported net income of C$2.3 billion ($2.02 billion), or C$1.57 a share on a fully diluted basis, for the fourth-quarter ended Oct. 31, compared with C$2.1 billion, or C$1.39 a share, a year earlier.

The bank said cash diluted earnings per share were C$1.59.

Analysts had expected adjusted earnings of C$1.58 per share, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.

While results were roughly in line with expectations, they were seen providing some relief for investors after Bank of Montreal reported lower-than-expected earnings on Tuesday on weakness at its capital markets arm.

Those results also weighed on RBC shares because both banks have large capital markets divisions.

RBC earnings "were much stronger than BMO's, both on a headline basis as well as factoring in the fact that (RBC) managed to earn through a significant increase in provisions related to its Caribbean operations and weak capital markets," Barclays Capital analyst John Aiken said in a note to clients.   Continued...