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Toronto-Dominion Bank CEO Discusses F3Q12 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Now, these awards speak to the high standards of service we deliver across the breadth of our platform from branch banking to phone to online banking and other direct channels. In addition, our investment advice business performed extremely well in the latest J.D. Power and Associates customer survey.

I am as proud of this recognition as I am of our strong financial results. It is a testament to our employees' enduring commitment to TD service and convenience model. Along with this positive news, we are very pleased to declare our $0.05 dividend increase today as well as an increase in our target payout ratio to 40% to 50% of adjusted earnings.

Latter brings us into line with our Canadian peers. We have maintained a cautious stance on this front through a period of unprecedented economic upheaval. We have heard though from investors loud and clear the growing importance of dividend income in today's low interest rate environment.

When our board considered this, together with our strong balance sheet, our stable earnings base, our superior ability to generate capital and the fact that the transition to Basel III is almost complete, they determined that the timing was right to make this change in our payout ratio.

Today's dividend increase is our second this year, which is consistent with the pattern of increases declared by the board since 2003, except for a brief pause during the financial crisis. Earnings growth permitting, the board has indicated that they would like to continue increasing our dividend twice a year as we progress towards a mid-point of our new higher payout range. This can reasonably be expected to result in dividend growth outpacing adjusted EPS growth.

Collectively, these decisions single the board's confidence in the resilience of our retail focused franchise banking model and our ability to continue to deliver sustainable long term earnings growth despite a challenging operating environment. So let me talk a little bit about that environment and what it means for our outlook.

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