WRAPUP 1-Scotia, Nat'l close out weak results season for Canada lenders

Fri Dec 5, 2014 1:16pm EST
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By Jeffrey Hodgson

TORONTO Dec 5 (Reuters) - Shares of Bank of Nova Scotia and National Bank of Canada 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, Toronto-Dominion Bank and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce fell short of analysts' expectations. Royal Bank of Canada 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...