August 28, 2012 / 11:13 AM / 6 years ago

BMO third-quarter profit surges 37 percent, raises dividend

(Reuters) - Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) on Tuesday reported a 37 percent jump in quarterly profit, topping estimates, helped by the acquisition of U.S. bank Marshall & Illsley, and raised the quarterly dividend.

A Bank of Montreal sign is pictured in downtown Ottawa March 3, 2009. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

BMO, Canada’s No. 4 lender and the first to report results for the third quarter ended July 31, said it earned C$970 million (US$979.95 million), or C$1.42 a share, compared with C$708 million, or C$1.09 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the bank earned C$1.49 a share, ahead of the C$1.39 expected by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

BMO paid $4.1 billion for Wisconsin-based Marshall & Illsley last July, part of a wave of takeovers by Canadian banks in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

The deal doubled BMO’s already-sizeable U.S. branch count to about 650, and contributed C$117 million to the bank’s bottom line during the quarter, it said.

Bank officials said in June the acquisition should yield annual cost savings of at least $400 million, up from the previous target of $300 million.

All told, profit from BMO’s U.S. personal and commercial bank rose to C$127 million, up 34 percent from a year before.

BMO’s flagship Canadian P&C bank produced C$453 million in profit, up 2.4 percent, while income from its private client wealth management business rose 5.7 percent to C$109 million.

The only weak spot was its wholesale banking arm, BMO Capital Markets, where profit fell 14 percent to C$232 million from the year before.

The bank raised its quarterly dividend payout by 2 Canadian cents to 72 Canadian cents a share.

BMO had been the only Canadian bank not to have resumed dividend hikes in the wake of the 2008-09 U.S. financial crisis.

($1 = 0.9899 Canadian dollars)

Reporting By Cameron French; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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