NEW YORK- Royal Bank of Canada, Canada's largest bank, said it will take a charge of roughly $850 million (C$1.03 billion) because the value of its international businesses has declined, reducing second-quarter earnings by an equivalent amount.
The Toronto-based bank said the charge covers a write-down of goodwill, which reflects the impact of prolonged challenging economic conditions. It said the charge in particular reflects declines in the U.S. economy, the U.S. housing market and the market value of U.S. banks.
Analysts on average had expected second-quarter profit of 85 Canadian cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.
A bank spokeswoman stressed that the charge was an accounting adjustment only.
It does not affect our cash earnings, our capital ratios, our business operations, or our ability to pay dividends, Jackie Braden said in an email message.
The charge is roughly equal to RBC's reported first-quarter profit of C$1.05 billion, or 73 Canadian cents per share.
Since the global credit crisis began, and especially since last summer, a variety of lenders have taken large goodwill write-downs because reduced economic and business activity have lowered the value of some of their units.
Goodwill typically arises in acquisitions and represents the value of such intangibles as reputation and brand-name recognition.
RBC said its fiscal second-quarter ends on April 30, and that it plans to release results for the February-to-April period on May 29. It said the $850 million charge is a non-cash item that will not affect its operations.
Shares of RBC closed Thursday up C$1.22 at C$42.35 in Toronto. The bank announced the charge after markets closed. ($1 = C$1.21) (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)