February 25, 2020 / 12:53 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Bank of Montreal beats profit expectations, as capital markets earnings jump

(Adds details of earnings)

Feb 25 (Reuters) - Bank of Montreal beat analyst estimates for first-quarter profit on Tuesday amid strength in its capital markets and wealth businesses, even though earnings fell from U.S. retail and loan-loss provisions doubled.

Net income before one-off items rose to C$1.62 billion ($1.22 billion), or C$2.41 per share, in the three months ended Jan. 31, from C$1.54 billion, or C$2.32 per share, a year earlier. Analysts had expected C$1.51 billion, or C$2.37 a share.

BMO’s capital markets unit led the gains with a 38% jump in adjusted net income, and wealth management followed with a 21% rise from a year ago.

“Capital Markets had a strong quarter in all businesses, demonstrating its earnings potential, with an increased contribution from our U.S. segment resulting in 38% total net income growth,” Chief Executive Darryl White said in a statement.

Canadian retail banking earnings climbed 8%, but the U.S. personal and commercial business proved the laggard with a 21% decline in profit.

Total provisions for credit losses rose to C$349 million, from C$137 million a year ago.

$1 = 1.3286 Canadian dollars Reporting by Abhishek Manikandan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Bernadette Baum

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