Laurentian’s Earnings Exceed Expectations, Dividend Raised Again

MONTREAL—Laurentian Bank is raising its dividend for the second time in a year after beating expectations by posting $39.4 million in adjusted profits, up slightly from the prior year.

The Quebec-based bank said Wednesday its quarterly payment to shareholders will increase a penny to 52 cents per share as of Aug. 1. It is the fourth of the seven largest Canadian banks to raise its dividend this quarter, following National, CIBC, and Bank of Montreal.

Laurentian earned $1.29 per diluted share in adjusted profits for the period ended Apr. 30, beating expectations by five cents. That compared with $1.24 per share or $39.25 million in the second quarter of 2013.

The bank was expected to earn $1.24 per share on $214.2 million of revenues, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. With its results, all of the top Canadian banks beat analyst forecasts on adjusted earnings per share in the second quarter.

Revenues were $216.9 million, up from $214.85 million.

The bank said its return on equity was 9.2 percent for the quarter, compared with 10.4 percent a year ago.

Chief executive Rejean Robitaille said the bank delivered “solid core earnings” as it targeted improved efficiency, maximized operating leverage, and cost savings from acquired businesses.

“The sustained credit quality of the loan portfolio and rigorous control over expenses contributed to the good performance for the quarter,” he said in a statement.

Laurentian Bank is Quebec’s second-largest bank and third biggest financial institution $34.26 billion of assets, 3,764 employees, 153 branches, and 423 automated teller machines.