Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY) has announced a dividend increase along with its latest financial report, which included a record profit at RBC's core segment and adjusted earnings that beat analyst estimates.
Royal's overall first-quarter net income was up by $215 million to $2.07 billion, or $1.36 per share, on revenue of $7.9 billion. The banks says its adjusted earnings amounted to $1.38 per share, beating analyst estimates by six cents.
Analysts had expected earnings per share of $1.32 on revenue of $7.67 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.
RBC's core personal and commercial banking segment accounted for more than half of overall profit, rising by 11 per cent to a record $1.12 billion.
"RBC continued its strong momentum, with earnings of over $2 billion in the first quarter, reflecting solid growth across most businesses and effective cost discipline," RBC president and CEO Gord Nixon said in a statement, ahead of the bank's annual meeting.
"We believe our financial strength and competitive advantages position us to successfully manage through the ongoing industry headwinds, and continue to extend our lead in Canada, while selectively growing our presence globally."
There were sizable increases in profit at RBC's capital markets and its wealth management operations but they were partly offset by smaller declines at insurance and a relatively new division called investor and treasury services.
RBC joined Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) and TD Bank (TSX:TD) in announcing increases to its quarterly dividend. Royal's will rise five per cent to 63 cents per share, the fourth increase at RBC in the past four years.
Earlier this month, Royal Bank completed the acquisition of Ally Financial and quickly announced it planned to shut down the deposit business of the operations.
As part of the move, the bank also reined in the interest rates of existing Ally accounts to 1.2 per cent from 1.8 per cent, which puts it in line with its own high-interest savings accounts.
Mr. Nixon, Royal Bank's chief executive officer, received a pay increase to $12.6 million last year after taking a pay cut to $10.1 million in 2011.
Royal Bank is the country's largest bank by assets and market capitalization and has 77,000 employees serving more than 18 million clients. The bank has operations across North America and in 52 other countries.
It operates under the RBC Bank banner in the U.S., with more than 400 branches throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Florida and Alabama.