Canada's Industrial Alliance profit up 4 pct but misses estimates

TORONTO Thu May 8, 2014 10:52am EDT

TORONTO May 8 (Reuters) - Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc, Canada's fourth-largest life insurer, said on Thursday its first-quarter profit rose 4 percent on the back of strong equity markets, but the result missed estimates and its shares fell.

Net income attributed to common shareholders was C$82.9 million ($76.04 million), or 83 Canadian cents a share, for the quarter ended March 31. That compared with a year-earlier profit of C$79.7 million, or 83 Canadian cents a share.

The result was just shy of analysts' expectations of a profit of 85 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

In a note, RBC Capital markets analyst Darko Mihelic said the results was below his expectations.

About one hour into trading, Industrial Alliance's shares were down 1.1 percent at C$45.00, underperforming other Canadian financial companies whose stocks traded flat to higher.

The Quebec City-based company attributed much of the growth in profit to higher assets and administration, which rose 17.2 to C$102.7 billion due largely to strong equity markets.

Premiums and deposits were C$2.1 billion, unchanged on the year.

In late 2013, the company acquired Toronto wealth manager Jovian Capital for C$79 million in cash and stock. ($1 = 1.0903 Canadian Dollars) (Reporting by Cameron French Editing by W Simon)

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