Royal Bank profit jumps to record $2.4B, dividend hiked to 77 cents
Royal Bank had $2.456 billion of net income in the first quarter, up 17 per cent from a year earlier and better than analyst estimates as its Canadian banking had a record profit on strong growth in fee-based revenue and increased volume.
The bank earned $1.65 per share under international reporting standards, while its cash diluted EPS was $1.67, which was above the Thomson Reuters estimate of $1.58 per share.
The profit for the three months ended Jan. 31 included $1.255 billion from its personal and commercial banking segment, primarily $1.22 billion from Canadian banking, which was up $83 million or seven per cent.
RBC's president and chief executive, Dave McKay, said the bank's diversified business "positions us well to navigate macroeconomic headwinds in Canada and continue to capitalize on opportunities created by the changing environment."
RBC said its dividend will be going up by two cents or three per cent to 77 cents per share.
Most of the bank's major operating segments showed growth, although net income from wealth management declined two per cent or $5 million to $230 million as a result of restructuring costs for its U.S. and international businesses.
The bank announced last year it was shuttering its wealth management operations in the Caribbean, affecting international wealth management teams in Toronto, Montreal and the U.S. and resulting in an unknown number of job losses.
Excluding a $60-million loss on the sale of RBC Jamaica, and $32 million of other charges in the Caribbean recorded in the first quarter of 2014, Royal's profit in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 was up 12 per cent from a year earlier.
Last month, RBC announced a US$5.4-billion deal to acquire Los Angeles-based City National Corp.
RBC has said City National will allow it to expand its wealth management business south of the border. The acquisition marks RBC's first major return to the U.S. market, after selling its U.S. retail banking business at a loss in 2011.