Laurentian Bank Raises Dividend Second Time in Year

Laurentian Bank of Canada raised its dividend for the second time in 12 months after annual profit rose on higher mortgage and commercial loans.

Laurentian, the last Canadian bank to report results, increased its quarterly payout 8.3 percent to 39 cents a share. The Montreal-based bank said fourth-quarter profit declined 14 percent because of a year-earlier gain.

Laurentian is the third Canadian bank to increase dividends this quarter as lenders end a year-long freeze in payout gains. National Bank of Canada and Canadian Western Bank also boosted their dividends, while Canada’s five biggest banks kept their payouts unchanged.

Net income at Laurentian for the period ended Oct. 31 declined to C$32.5 million ($32.2 million), or C$1.24 a share, from C$38.2 million, or C$1.47, a year earlier, according to a statement today.

Profit topped the C$1.18-a-share average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Canada’s seventh-biggest bank rose 85 cents, or 1.9 percent, to C$46.25 in 9:37 a.m. trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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