BMO says its net income rose to nearly $1.03 billion for the three months ended April 30, an increase of $215 million from the same time last year, or $1.51 per share before adjustments.
After adjustments, BMO's net income was $982 million or $1.44 per share _ eight cents higher than a consensus estimate compiled by Thomson Reuters before the announcement.
The bank also highlighted a significant drop in its provisions for credit losses – or money set aside to cover bad loans – which fell $102 million to $195 million.
Shares of the bank dropped 1.3 per cent, or 72 cents, to $54.53 in early trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
BMO Capital Markets slipped marginally from the same time last year but there were significant increases at its Canadian and American personal and commercial banking operations, BMO's private client group and at corporate services.
"BMO produced strong financial results again in the second quarter," BMO president and CEO Bill Downe said in the bank's announcement.
"The consistent focus we have on customers and their success is underpinned by a strong, consistent brand and is grounded in the belief that a relationship bank is relevant to households and companies, as they manage their finances and improve their financial position."
The company has more than 46,600 employees across its North American operations, which include retail banking at Bank of Montreal, wealth management and investment banking, as well as its Chicago-based Harris Bank subsidiary.
The Canadian personal and commercial banking operations accounted for nearly half of overall profit, rising 7.8 per cent or $32 million to $446 million.
The U.S. banking operations had US$122 million of net income, up from US$54 million a year earlier, before adjustments. After adjustments related to the acquisition of Marshall & Ilsley, net income was $137 million, up $78 million from a year earlier.
The private client group had $145 million in net income, up $54 million or 59 per cent from a year ago before adjustments.
BMO Capital Markets had $225 million in net income, down slightly from $229 million a year earlier.
Net income from corporate services was $91 million, an increase of $65 million from a year ago.
Barclays analyst John Aiken highlighted in a note the lower loan losses as well as a better than expected effective tax rate that helped earnings by about five cents per share.
"Both of these issues represent a beat on lower quality earnings, in our opinion," he said.
"While the lower provisions will likely recur for some time, we do not believe that the market is willing to give BMO full valuation credit for it, similar to last quarter."