— Bank of Montreal (NYSE: BMO) reported its fourth-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings of CAD2.43 per share versus CAD2.41 per share expected.
— The bottom line reflected strong performance in its Personal and Commercial banking businesses and higher net income in BMO Wealth Management, partially offset by a decline in BMO Capital Markets and a higher net loss in Corporate Services.
— Revenue rose by 3% to CAD6.09 billion versus CAD5.85 billion expected. The results were driven by higher net interest income.
— Net interest income grew by 12% largely due to higher loan and deposit balances across all operating groups, partially offset by lower loan margins.
— The non-interest revenue fell by 5% due to lower trading non-interest revenue, partially offset by higher lending and deposit revenue.
— The total provision for credit losses increased by CAD78 million to CAD253 million. This was due to portfolio growth, negative migration, and scenario weight change, partially offset by changes in the economic outlook.
— The total gross impaired loans increased to CAD2.63 billion from CAD1.94 billion a year ago, with the largest increase in impaired loans in oil and gas.
— The board of directors declared a quarterly dividend on the common stock of CAD1.06 per share, up 3% from the prior quarter. The dividend is payable on February 26, 2020, to shareholders of record on February 3, 2020.
— Looking ahead into 2020, the company said it will continue to execute on its clearly articulated strategic priorities and objectives. The company remained focused on building on the foundation of the integrated North American platform to grow its customer base and broaden its customer relationships.
— For the medium term, the company expects to achieve an average annual adjusted EPS growth of 7-10% and earn an average annual return on equity of 15% or more.