Toronto-based Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE: RY – $61.75) reported third quarter earnings, excluding special items, of C$2.214 billion, up C$236 million or 12% from last year. Earnings per share of C$1.46 beat analysts’ estimates of C$1.38. The improvement in results was driven by continued strength across most of RBC’s businesses, including record earnings in Personal & Commercial Banking and Wealth Management which offset declines in its Insurance and Capital Markets divisions. The company also announced a 6% increase to the quarterly dividend of C$0.04 to C$0.67 per share bringing the annualized yield to 4.3%. This represents the second increase in the payout this year. I continue to be upbeat about Canada’s largest bank’s long-term prospects and its potential to bolt on some small acquisitions, deliver new product offerings and improve operating efficiency. The shares can be held in a well diversified income portfolio.