December 4, 2013 / 1:02 PM / in 4 years

National Bank of Canada sets 2-for-1 stock split, raises dividend

(Reuters) - National Bank of Canada (NA.TO), the country’s sixth-largest lender, announced a 2-for-1 stock split and raised its dividend after reporting a 4 percent fall in fourth-quarter profit.

A sign is pictured outside a National Bank of Canada branch in Ottawa August 27, 2009. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

The bank raised its quarterly dividend to 92 Canadian cents per share from 87 Canadian cents.

The split will be made through a stock dividend of one share for each share held, the bank said on Wednesday.

Net income fell to C$337 million ($316 million), or C$1.89 per share, in the quarter ended October 31, from C$351 million, or C$1.97 per share, a year earlier.

Net income was hurt mainly by C$3 million in financing costs related to restructured debt, compared with a gain of C$111 million a year earlier.

Excluding items, the Montreal-based bank earned C$2.09 per share, in line with the average analyst expectation, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Income from the financial markets division jumped 30 percent to C$125 million.

Wealth management income rose 68 percent to C$57 million, while personal and commercial banking profit climbed 15 percent to C$177 million.

The stock dividend will be paid on February 13, while the quarterly dividend will be paid on February 1.

National Bank of Canada is the second of the country’s top six banks to report year-end results.

Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) on Tuesday reported a 1 percent rise in quarterly income on the back of stronger wealth management profit, but its shares fell 4.5 percent due to a sluggish performance at its U.S. Harris Bank unit.

National Bank of Canada’s shares closed at C$90.90 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday. They have risen about 20 percent in the last six months.

Reporting by Ashutosh Pandey in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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