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City National Bank doubles dividend after profit jumps 37%

The Los Angeles bank reports fourth-quarter earnings of $39.7 million, up from $29.1 million a year earlier. Shareholders will see their quarterly payments increase to 20 cents a share from 10 cents.

January 21, 2011|By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times

Declaring that it is now stronger than before the recession, Los Angeles-based City National Corp. reported 37% higher fourth-quarter earnings, even after two large one-time charges, and doubled its dividend to shareholders.

The parent of City National Bank said after the close of trading Thursday that it earned $39.7 million, or 74 cents a share, up from $29.1 million, or 38 cents, in the final quarter of 2009.

Excluding the two one-time charges, fourth-quarter net income totaled $47.1 million, or 88 cents a share, the bank said.

Fourth-quarter revenue was $280.2 million, up 2% from the same quarter of 2009.

The big jumps in per-share earnings reflected the bank's repayment to the government of $400 million in bailout funds, which erased the obligation to pay dividends to the U.S. Treasury.

Allocating some of that extra cash, City National said it would increase its quarterly dividend to common shareholders to 20 cents a share from 10 cents.

Still, the payout remains well below the 48 cents a share the bank was paying each quarter before slashing the dividend in early 2009.

For all of 2010, City National earned $131.2 million, or $2.36 a share, up 156% from $51.3 million, or 50 cents, in 2009. Revenue for the year climbed 19% to $1.1 billion.

A specialist in private banking, business lending and home loans for the wealthy, City National has more than 80 branches in California and Nevada. It plans to open three more California offices this year, said the bank's chief executive, Russell Goldsmith.

The company, which recently opened its second New York office, added 10 branches in 2009 and 2010 by acquiring failed banks from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

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