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The entrance for National Bank Financial on the corner of King St. West and York St. in Toronto's Financial district.

Charla Jones/The Globe and Mail

Canada's sixth-largest bank is hiking its dividend and buying back some of its shares, National Bank announced Friday along with a second-quarter profit that beat analyst estimates by a wide margin.

Montreal-based bank said its adjusted earnings hit a record $369-million – up 6 per cent from the same time last year. That equalled $2.08 per share, a 7-per-cent increase from $1.95 per share in the same quarter last year.

National Bank's net income also beat analyst estimates but was down year-to-year, due to an unusual $198-million gain that it recorded in the second quarter of its 2012 financial year.

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Net income equalled $2.49 per share, or $434-million, down from $553-million or $3.22 per share in the quarter ended April 30, 2012.

Revenue dropped 8 per cent to $1.386-billion from $1.499-billion.

Analysts had been looking for National Bank to produce $1.98 per share in adjusted earnings and $1.99 per share in net income with $1.26-billion of revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

The bank says its quarterly dividend on common shares will rise by 5 per cent to 87 cents per share, starting with the August payout.

It also announced a share buyback program that will enable it to repurchase and cancel up to 3,246,676 common shares in the 12 months beginning June 20.

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