TD Bank profit inches higher; stock split announced

Thu Dec 5, 2013 8:42am EST
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote), Canada's second-biggest bank, said on Thursday its quarterly profit rose 1.6 percent, missing expectations, and it announced a 2-for-1 stock split.

The bank also raised its dividend 1.2 percent.

TD, which in addition to its Canadian retail bank operates a 1,300-branch network on the U.S. East Coast, earned C$1.62 billion ($1.52 billion), or C$1.68 a share, in the fourth quarter that ended October 31.

That compared with a year-earlier profit of C$1.60 billion, or C$1.66 a share.

Excluding a C$90 million restructuring charge, a C$59 million hit for amortization of intangibles, and other items, the bank earned C$1.90 a share, up from C$1.83.

Analysts on average had expected C$1.99, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The bank said it will split its shares by way of a stock dividend in January. TD's shares have risen 14 percent this year and closed at C$95.75 on Wednesday. Analysts had speculated a stock split might be in the offing due to the stock price's approach to the C$100 level.

"At some point you want to make sure that your shares are affordable for the retail investor," Colleen Johnston, the bank's chief financial officer, said in an interview.

TD also said it had extended through 2021 a shareholder agreement with U.S. online broker TD Ameritrade AMTD.N that limits TD's ownership of Ameritrade to 45 percent.   Continued...

The inside of a TD Bank branch is seen in New York January 17, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton