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

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)

F3Q12 Earnings Call

August 30, 2012 3:00 pm ET

Executives

Rudy Sankovic - Senior Vice President of Investor Relations

Ed Clark - Group President and Chief Executive Officer

Colleen Johnston - Group Head, Finance and Chief Financial Officer

Bharat Masrani - Group Head, U.S. Personal and CB of TD Bank Group and President, CEO of TD Bank, N.A.

Mark Chauvin - Group Head and Chief Risk Officer

Timothy Hockey - Group Head, Canadian Banking, Auto Finance and Credit Cards of TD Bank Group, President and Chief Executive Officer, TD Canada Trust

Analysts

Michael Goldberg - Desjardins Securities

John Reucassel - BMO Capital Markets

Gabriel Dechaine - Credit Suisse

Peter Routledge - National Bank Financial

Robert Sedran - CIBC

Brad Smith - Stonecap Securities

Steve Theriault - Bank of America Merrill Lynch

John Aiken - Barclays Capital

Chris Mutascio - Stifel Nicolaus

Presentation

Rudy Sankovic

Good afternoon and welcome to TD Bank Group's third quarter 2012 investor presentation. My name is Rudy Sankovic and I am the Head of Investor Relations of the bank.

We will begin today's presentation with remarks from Ed Clark, the bank's CEO, after which Colleen Johnston, the bank's CFO, will present our third quarter operating results. Mark Chauvin, Chief Risk Officer, will offer comments on credit quality, after which we will entertain questions from those present in the room and from prequalified analysts and investors on the phone.

Also present today to answer your questions are Tim Hockey, Group Head, Canadian Banking, Auto Finance and Credit Cards, Bharat Masrani, Group Head, US P&C Banking, and Mike Pedersen, Group Head, Wealth, Insurance, and Corporate Shared Services. Bob Dorrance, Group Head, Wholesale Banking, is joining us by phone today.

Given that this has been a busy reporting day for the analyst and investor community, we would like to ensure that this call be limited to an hour. So we please appreciate your cooperation.

At this time, I would like to caution our listeners that this presentation contains forward-looking statements and there are risks that actual results could differ materially from what is discussed. Any forward-looking statements contained in this presentation represent the views of management and are presented for the purpose of assisting the bank's shareholders and analysts in understanding the bank's financial position, objectives, and priorities and anticipated financial performance, and may not be appropriate for any other purposes.

Certain material factors or assumptions were applied in making these forward-looking statements. For additional information on these factors and assumptions, please see our Q3 2012 MD&A and 2011 Annual Report contained on Td.com.

With that, let me turn the presentation over to Ed.

Ed Clark

Thanks, Rudy, and thanks everyone for joining us today. Colleen is going to be up shortly to discuss in detail our third quarter results, but let me start by sharing my thoughts on the quarter and telling you about how we feel about the rest of the year.

This was a record quarter for TD, with adjusted EPS growth of 9 percent versus the third quarter last year. Our retail business generated record adjusted earnings of $1.6 billion, also up 9 percent from a year earlier and our wholesale bank delivered solid results in a very difficult market.

Among the highlights of the quarter was a renewed recognition of our best in class customer service. TD Canada Trust won J.D. Power for the highest customer satisfaction levels among the Big 5 banks for the seventh year in a row. We are the only bank in Canada to have the won the J.D. Power award. An amazing accomplishment and for the eighth consecutive year, TD Canada Trust in named the best of the Big 5 banks for customer service excellence by Ipsos from formerly known as Synovate.

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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