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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

BMO profit rises 18 pct, cuts equity issue, (TSE: BMO), (NYSE: MI)

Bank of Montreal's (BMO.TO) first-quarter profit rose 18 percent due to stronger loan growth and investment banking fees, and the bank said it will issue less stock than previously expected to pay for its acquisition of Wisconsin bank Marshall & Ilsley Corp (MI.N). Cash earnings of C$1.32 were marginally above expectations of C$1.31 a share, while the planned equity issuance of C$400 million was half the bank's original target to pay for the $4.1 billion acquisition announced late last year. Profit was driven by increased lending at wider margins, and stronger trading and underwriting fees at its investment bank unit.