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National Bank to hike dividend following $1.55 billion 2013 annual profit

MONTREAL - National Bank of Canada (TSX:NA) is reporting $337 million in net income for the fourth quarter, resulting in a full-year profit of $1.554 billion — both lower than the comparable periods last year.

Revenue at Canada's sixth-largest bank also declined from a year ago to $1.254 billion in the fourth quarter ended Oct. 31 and $5.163 billion for the full 2013 financial year.

Under standard accounting, the Montreal-based bank's profit and revenue were below expectations but its adjusted earnings were above analyst estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters.

Excluding certain items, National Bank had $370 million of adjusted net income, or $2.09 per share, in the fourth quarter up eight per cent from $1.93 per share a year earlier.

Analysts had estimated $2.09 per share of net income and adjusted net income for the quarter, and $1.329 billion of revenue.

In the comparable periods of 2012, National Bank had $351 million of net income in the fourth quarter and $1.634 billion for the full year. Revenue was $1.350 billion in the 2012 fourth quarter and 12-month revenue last year was $5.313 billion.

National Bank also announced Wednesday that it will raise the quarterly cash dividend by six per cent 93 cents, payable Feb. 1. That will be followed by a one-for-one stock dividend, payable Feb. 13.

The Canadian Press

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