CIBC Beats Estimates as Canadian Unit Resumes Growth


Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce’s focus on its domestic market is paying off, with strength in the nation’s housing market fueling an emerging rebound in the company’s retail-banking operations.

  • Profit in the Canadian personal and commercial business rose 5.5% in the fiscal fourth quarter. That compares with a 23% drop in the unit’s net income in the previous three months. The performance contributed to the bank’s overall results beating analysts’ estimates.

Key Insights

  • CIBC was among the more conservative banks in guarding against potential loan losses early in the crisis, a strategy that’s paid off for companies able to dial back set-asides in subsequent quarters. For CIBC, provisions for credit losses totaled C$291 million ($225 million) in the three months through October, compared with C$525 million in the third quarter and C$1.41 billion in the second quarter.
  • The bank has a goal of expanding its U.S. business to reduce reliance on its home country. Profit in the U.S. commercial-banking and wealth-management unit fell 27% to C$131 million last quarter.
  • Like its rivals, CIBC has benefited from an increase in trading activity amid the volatile markets caused by the pandemic. Profit in its capital-markets business climbed 16% to C$267 million last quarter, helped by interest-rates and commodities trading. That compares with a 67% increase in the third quarter.
  • Separately, CIBC said that Katharine Stevenson will become the board’s chair starting in April, replacing John Manley, who is retiring after six years as chair and 16 years as a CIBC director.

Market Reaction

  • CIBC shares have gained 1.9% this year through Wednesday, compared with a 1.7% drop for the eight-company S&P/TSX commercial banks index.

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  • Net income fell 15% to C$1.02 billion, or C$2.20 a share. Excluding some items, profit was C$2.79 a share, beating analysts’ C$2.52 average estimate.
  • Click here for more on CIBC’s fourth-quarter results.

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