Should TFSA Investors Buy Toronto-Dominion Bank?

Many Canadian investors hold bank stocks as anchor positions in their TFSA portfolios.

Let’s take a look at Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD)(NYSE:TD) to see if it deserves to be one of your top picks.

Earnings strength

TD’s fiscal Q3 2016 Canadian retail revenue rose 3% compared with the same period last year. The group’s deposits rose 8% and wealth assets increased 7%, but extraordinary insurance claims caused by the Alberta wildfires resulted in a 3% drop in year-over-year net income for the group.

Nonetheless, overall adjusted earnings rose 6% compared with Q3 2015 as TD’s wholesale banking and U.S. retail divisions picked up the slack.

Wholesale net income increased a solid 26% on the back of strong capital markets origination activity and corporate lending fees.

South of the border, TD’s U.S. retail group delivered a 16% gain in adjusted net income, driven by a 13% increase in loan volumes and a 9% jump in deposits. TD has invested at least $17 billion in the U.S. over the past decade and now operates more branches in the United States than it does in Canada.

The balanced revenue stream shows the company is capable of weathering unexpected hits to one of its groups.

Growth opportunities

The buying spree in the U.S. has slowed down, and TD is primarily focusing on organic growth in the retail market, but management is still open to strategic purchases and recently announced a deal to acquire Albert Fried & Company, a New York–based broker-dealer.

TD has also spent some big bucks on credit card portfolios in recent years, including the U.S. Visa and private label business of retailer Nordstrom.

With low interest rates and stiffer competition putting pressure on margins in other areas of the business, the addition of high-margin credit card businesses could continue.


TD hiked its dividend by almost 8% this year, and investors have received an average annual increase of 12% over the past two decades. The payout currently offers a yield of 3.8%.

Economic headwinds might make it difficult to match that track record in the near term, but investors should see the distribution continue to rise at a regular rate, especially if TD can meet its medium-term target of 7-10% annual growth in earnings per share.


The oil rout and a potential Canadian housing bubble have some investors concerned the banks are in for a big hit.

TD’s direct oil and gas exposure represents less than 1% of its total loan book, so there isn’t much to worry about on that front. Regarding housing, TD has a large Canadian residential mortgage portfolio, but 53% of the loans are insured and the loan-to-value ratio on the remaining mortgages is 58%. This means house prices would have to tank significantly before TD takes a material hit.

Is this a good time to buy?

TD has rallied off the 2016 lows, but the stock is still trading in line with its five-year average price-to-earnings multiple. Trying to time the market on this stock is not worth the trouble; you just end up missing valuable dividend payments.

As such, I think TD remains an attractive TFSA pick today for buy-and-hold investors.

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Fool contributor Andrew Walker has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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