Bank of Montreal (BMO)
Bank of Montreal’s (BMO) fourth-quarter earnings were definitely hurt by its U.S. operations, which saw adjusted net income decline by 28% year-over-year to C$113 million. As a result, the bank’s total adjusted net income was down 2% to C$1.1 billion.
However, BMO does have some areas of strength. Its Canadian personal and commercial banking unit — its biggest — saw adjusted net income grow by 5% year-over-year to C$472 million, or 43% of overall adjusted net income. Wealth management has become almost as important with adjusted net income up 89% in the quarter to C$319 million. Together, the two units represent almost three quarters of its profits.
While analysts weren’t overly impressed with Bank of Montreal’s performance in Q4, it did announce a couple of moves that will make shareholders happy. First, it said that starting in February, the bank will buy back up to 15 million shares of its common stock; secondly, BMO announced a 2-cent dividend increase to C$0.76, or C$3.04 annually, providing investors with a 4.4% dividend yield.
BMO Rating: 6.5 (of 10)