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3 Reasons to Buy Royal Bank of Canada Right Now

Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY)(NYSE:RY), the largest bank in Canada in terms of total assets, has watched its stock make a slight move to the downside in 2015, underperforming the TSX Composite Index’s return of just over 2.5%, but it has the potential to widely outperform the market from this point forward. Let’s take a look at three of the primary reasons why this could happen and why you should be a long-term buyer of the stock today.

1. Record second-quarter profitability to support a near-term rally

RBC released record second-quarter earnings results on the morning of May 28, but its stock has remained relatively unchanged in the trading sessions since. Here’s a breakdown of 12 of the most notable statistics from the report compared with the year-ago period:

  1. Net income increased 13.7% to a record $2.50 billion
  2. Adjusted net income increased 8.8% to $2.39 billion
  3. Adjusted earnings per share increased 9.5% to $1.61, surpassing analysts’ expectations of $1.60
  4. Adjusted revenue increased 5.4% to $8.72 billion, surpassing analysts’ expectations of $8.37 billion
  5. Non-interest income increased 9.2% to $5.27 billion
  6. Net interest income increased 3.1% to $3.56 billion
  7. Total assets increased 15.2% to $1.032 trillion
  8. Total deposits increased 10.3% to $651.55 billion
  9. Total loans and acceptances, net of allowance for loan losses, increased 6.6% to $460.95 billion
  10. Total assets under management increased 12.9% to $486.3 billion
  11. Adjusted return on equity contracted 60 basis points to 18.5%
  12. Book value per share increased 12.7% to $35.91

2. The stock trades at inexpensive forward valuations

At today’s levels RBC’s stock trades at just 12.1 times fiscal 2015’s estimated earnings per share of $6.63 and only 11.5 times fiscal 2016’s estimated earnings per share of $6.96, both of which are inexpensive compared with its five-year average price-to-earnings multiple of 13.6 and the industry average multiple of 13.4.

I think RBC’s stock could consistently trade at a fair multiple of at least 13, which would place its shares upwards of $86 by the conclusion of fiscal 2015 and upwards of $90 by the conclusion of fiscal 2016, representing upside of approximately 7.5% and 12.5%, respectively, from current levels.

3. A high dividend yield with a track record of increases

RBC pays a quarterly dividend of $0.77 per share, or $3.08 per share annually, giving its stock a 3.85% yield at today’s levels. The company has also increased its dividend eight times in the last five years, showing that it is dedicated to maximizing shareholder value, and its financial stability could allow for another increase in the third or fourth quarter.

Should you invest in Royal Bank of Canada today?

I think Royal Bank of Canada represents one of the best long-term investment opportunities in the market today. It has the support of record second-quarter earnings results, its stock trades at attractive forward valuations, and it has a 3.85% dividend yield with an extensive track record of increasing its annual payment. Long-term investors should strongly consider making RBC a core holding today.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Joseph Solitro has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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