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BMO Big increase in Q4 for BMO

The Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) has reported a big increase in quarterly and annual profit, beating analyst estimates by a wide margin.

For the fourth quarter ended Oct. 31, BMO had a $1.08-billion profit in the fourth quarter, a 41 per cent increase over the same time last year. That amounted to $1.59 per share of net earnings before adjustments.

The bank's adjusted earnings amounted to $1.65 per share, 22 cents a share above the consensus analyst estimate.

BMO' revenue in the fourth quarter from all business segments totalled $4.18 billion, including about $2.3 billion from its personal and commercial banking, up from $3.82 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Analysts had been expecting $1.37 per share of net income and $1.43 per share on an adjusted basis for the fourth quarter, according to estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters. The quarterly revenue estimate had been $3.8 billion.

"BMO's fourth quarter results mark a strong finish to a pivotal year for the bank," said Bill Downe, BMO's president and chief executive officer.

Downe noted that BMO's U.S subsidiary, BMO Harris Bank, had completed the integration on a major acquisition that increased its presence in the U.S. Midwest and kept an eye on the bottom line by reducing staffing levels.

Revenue for the full 2012 financial year increased to $16.1 billion from $13.9 billion in annual revenue last year.

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