Bank of Montreal profit falls short of estimates on higher provision for loan losses

A Bank of Montreal (BMO) logo is seen outside of a branch in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

(Reuters) - Bank of Montreal BMO.TO on Tuesday reported a third-quarter profit below market expectations, hurt by higher loan loss provisions.

BMO set aside C$306 million for credit losses, up from C$186 million ($140.11 million), a year ago.

Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce CM.TO also posted higher loan loss provisions when they reported third-quarter results last week.

Net income at the bank’s domestic personal and commercial banking unit rose 1% to C$648 million, while net income at its U.S. business climbed 1% to C$368 million.

Both units were hurt by higher expenses and provisions for credit losses.

Canada’s fourth-largest lender said net income rose to C$1.56 billion, or C$2.34 per share, in the third quarter ended July 31, from C$1.54 billion, or C$2.31 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the bank earned C$2.38 per share. Analysts on average had expected a profit of C$2.49 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Reporting by C Nivedita in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr