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BMO reports Q4 profit climbed to $4.48B, hikes dividend

BMO Banque de Montreal signage in Ottawa on Wednesday Sept. 7, 2022. BMO Financial Group raised its dividend as it reported fourth-quarter net income of $4.48 billion, up from $2.16 billion in the same quarter last year, boosted by a one-time gain related to its purchase of Bank of the West. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

BMO Financial Group raised its dividend as it reported fourth-quarter net income of $4.48 billion, up from $2.16 billion in the same quarter last year, boosted by a one-time gain related to its purchase of Bank of the West.

The bank says it increased its quarterly dividend by four cents to $1.43 per share.

The change came as BMO said its profit amounted to $6.51 per diluted share for the quarter ended Oct. 31, up from $3.23 per diluted share a year ago. Revenue totalled $10.57 billion for the quarter, up from $6.57 billion in the same quarter last year.

Provisions for credit losses were $226 million compared with a $126-million recovery of credit losses a year ago.

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On an adjusted basis, BMO says it earned $3.04 per diluted share, down from an adjusted profit of $3.33 per diluted share a year earlier.

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Analysts on average had expected a profit of $3.07 per share for the quarter, according to estimates compiled by financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

“Looking ahead to 2023, the economic environment remains uncertain, with inflation and higher interest rates expected to slow the economy in the near term,” BMO chief executive Darryl White said in a statement.

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“We will continue to dynamically manage capital and resources to grow our businesses and support our customers while finalizing preparations for the natural next step in our North American growth strategy, the approval, closing and integration of Bank of the West.

BMO said its Canadian personal and commercial banking business earned $917 million, down from $933 million a year ago, while is U.S. personal and commercial bank earned $660 million, up from $509 million in the same quarter last year.

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The bank’s wealth management arm earned $298 million, down from $345 million in the same quarter last year, and its capital markets business earned $357 million in its latest quarter, down from $531 million a year ago.

The bank’s corporate services group reported a profit of $2.25 billion for the quarter, boosted by a gain related to its pending purchase of Bank of the West, offset in part by legal provision. The group reported a loss of $159 million a year ago.

For its full year, BMO reported a profit of $13.54 billion or $19.99 per diluted share on $33.71 billion in revenue compared with a profit of $7.75 billion or $11.58 per diluted share on $27.19 billion in revenue a year earlier.

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