BMO posts higher profit on U.S. unit growth, raises dividend

The logo for the Bank of Montreal is seen at its branch Toronto, March 5, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - Bank of Montreal BMO.TO reported a higher quarterly profit on Tuesday, benefiting from growth in its U.S. personal and commercial banking unit, and it increased its quarterly dividend.

The lender, Canada’s fourth-largest bank, said it would lift its dividend to 84 Canadian cents per share this quarter, a 2 percent rise from the previous period. Net income for the fourth quarter ended Oct. 31 was C$1.21 billion, or C$1.83 per share, compared with C$1.07 billion, or C$1.56 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, earnings were C$1.90 per share. Analysts on average had expected C$1.74 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Profit jumped 23 percent in U.S. personal and commercial banking and 27 percent at the capital markets division.

Reporting by John Tilak; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn