* Adj EPS C$0.27 vs est C$0.28
* Dividend rises 7.7 pct
* Shares flat versus weak markets
(Adds details, CEO comment)
By Cameron French
TORONTO, Nov 9 CI Financial (CIX.TO) said on
Tuesday its third-quarter profit rose 13.7 percent as
rebounding equity markets boosted sales and assets, prompting
Canada's No.3 fund dealer to boost its dividend.
The result was roughly in line with market expectations,
and the company's shares finished flat on an otherwise weak day
for Canadian financials.
CI earned a net C$75.5 million ($75.5 million), or 26
Canadian cents a share, up from C$66.4 million, or 23 Canadian
cents, in the year-before period.
On an adjusted basis, the profit was 27 Canadian cents a
share, missing analysts' expectations by one penny.
The results benefited from strong equity markets during the
period, as the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE rose 9.5 percent between June and September,
reversing second-quarter weakness.
"CI's third quarter is the start of what looks to be a
great second half of 2010. The downturn experienced in the
second quarter reversed itself," Stephen MacPhail, the
company's chief executive, said on a conference call.
The company recently agreed to buy the Canadian mutual fund
business of U.S. insurer Hartford Financial (HIG.N) as part of
a push to increase its footprint in what has become an
increasingly competitive Canadian mutual fund space.
MacPhail, who replaced longtime CI CEO Bill Holland in
September, said the company is eyeing more acquisitions, and
said the number of potential targets has recently increased.
"We've been presented with more situations. We're actively
having conversations," he said.
Total revenue rose 6 percent to C$336.3 million, helped by
stronger management fees and sales of managed funds.
Fee-earning assets rose 6 percent to C$91.5 billion
year-over-year, helped by rising equity markets. Retail assets
under management climbed 8 percent year-over-year to C$65.6
The company raised its monthly dividend by 7.7 percent to 7
Canadian cents a share from 6.5 Canadian cents a share, citing
the increase in assets.
Its stock rose 4 Canadian cents at C$22.82 on the Toronto
Stock Exchange, while the TSX financials sector fell 1
(Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by Frank McGurty)