March 3, 2009 / 12:56 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-Scotiabank profit hit by bad loan provisions

TORONTO, March 3 (Reuters) - Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), Canada’s third-largest lender, reported weaker quarterly earnings per share on Tuesday as provisions for bad loans more than doubled and its payout of preferred share dividends rose.

The country’s No. 3 bank by market capitalization reported net income of C$842 million ($653 million), or 80 Canadian cents a share, for the fiscal first quarter, ended Jan. 31, compared with C$835 million, or 82 Canadian cents share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected a profit of 89 Canadian cents a share before one-time items, according to Reuters Estimates.

Earnings per share fell even as net income increased as preferred share dividends paid out rose to C$37 million from C$21 million a year earlier. Preferred share dividends are deducted after net income has been calculated.

Canadian banks have been hiking preferred share issuance to shore up their balance sheets as the global financial crisis causes a jump in bad loans.

Net income available to common shareholders fell to C$805 million from C$814 million a year earlier. ($1=$1.29 Canadian) (Reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson; editing by John Wallace)

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