(Recasts, adds company comment)
* Raises FY dividend view to 6.5 yen/share vs 6.0 yen
* Keeps FY view at Y600 bln vs Y638.3 bln analyst estimate
* Apr-Dec net profit Y563.1 bln, 94 pct of FY goal
* Oct-Dec net down 36 pct at Y133.4 bln as stocks income
By Taiga Uranaka
TOKYO, Jan 31 Mizuho Financial Group Inc
raised its dividend forecast for the first time in six
years after stock-related income pushed nine-month earnings just
6 percent shy of the bank's full-year profit goal.
The Japanese lender, like bigger rival Mitsubishi UFJ
Financial Group Inc, has booked a steep rise in
brokerage commissions since the end of 2012 when shares prices
shot up ahead of the election of a pro-growth government.
The subsequent year-long market rally has also pushed up the
value of shares Mizuho owns and helped the bank turn around a
string of deep stock-related losses.
As a result, Mizuho on Friday said net profit rose 43.7
percent in April-December to 563.1 billion yen, just short of
the bank's target for the business year ending March - a
seven-year high of 600 billion yen.
The bank also said it raised its full-year dividend forecast
to 6.5 yen per share from 6.0 yen, which would be the first hike
"We are raising our dividend forecast," said a Mizuho
spokeswoman, as "we are now confident that we can comfortably
clear our full-year profit forecast."
Shares of Mizuho closed up 0.9 percent ahead of the earnings
release, compared with a 0.6 percent decline in the benchmark
Japanese stocks are still rising a year on from the
election. The average daily trading value on the Tokyo Stock
Exchange doubled on year in October-December, during which time
the benchmark Nikkei Stock Average hit a six-year high.
That helped Mizuho, whose stock portfolio includes Dai-ichi
Life Insurance Co and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal
Corp, book stock-related profit of 15.6 billion yen in
the third quarter.
But that compared with 151.6 billion yen a year earlier when
the stock market rally began, pushing net profit down 36 percent
in October-December to 133.4 billion yen, Reuters calculations
show based on nine-month figures.
For the first and second quarters combined, stock-related
profit reached 27.3 billion yen from a loss of 274.5 billion
At Mizuho's brokerage unit, investors drawn by the stock
rally led to a surge in income from commission fees, pushing the
unit's net profit to 47.2 billion yen in April-December from 7
billion yen a year prior.
For the full year, Mizuho on Friday kept its profit forecast
at 600 billion yen, 7 percent higher than the year earlier.
That would compare with the 638.3 billion yen mean estimate
of 18 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, which would be the
highest profit since 2006.
Japanese banks typically revise forecasts in the fourth
quarter after making additional provisions for bad loans.
(Editing by Christopher Cushing)