The banks have rebounded off their recent lows, and investors who missed the rally are wondering which names still look attractive.
1. Strong earnings
TD earned a cool $2.2 billion in fiscal Q1 2016.
That’s pretty impressive in a tough economic environment, and it shows how efficient the company is at finding ways to boost revenue and profits.
The strong results are driven by the bank’s industry-leading Canadian retail operations. TD regularly wins awards for customer service, and all client-facing employees are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to sell new products and services.
TD also has a large presence in the United States, which provides a great hedge against weakness in the Canadian economy. Every dollar in earnings from the American operations now converts into a juicy CAD$1.30.
A challenging market is expected to persist, but TD’s CEO believes his company can deliver earnings-per-share growth of 7-10% in the medium term.
2. Dividend reliability and yield
TD has a long history of sharing profits with its investors. In fact, the company began paying dividends back in 1857, just one year after it opened its first branch in Toronto.
Management must be comfortable with the earnings outlook because TD recently raised the quarterly payout by 8% to $0.55 per share. The company has a 20-year annualized dividend-growth rate of 12%, and the current distribution offers a 4% yield.
3. Low risk
Some investors are concerned the oil rout will hammer the Canadian banks. Loss provisions are certainly rising, but TD has been very conservative in its dealings with the energy sector and less than 1% of its loans are exposed to oil and gas companies.
Housing is another hot button with the market. TD’s mortgage portfolio is HUGE, but uninsured mortgages represent just 45% of the loans and the loan-to-value ratio on that component is 59%. This means house prices would have to fall significantly before TD sees a material impact.
From an operational standpoint, TD’s focus on the retail sector also makes the bank less risky than some of its peers who tend to have more exposure to capital markets and wealth management. These areas generate great returns when times are good, but earnings can be volatile when economic conditions are less favourable.
Should you buy?
TD is not as cheap as it was two months ago, but the stock is still an attractive pick for dividend-growth investors with a buy-and-hold investing strategy.