WRAPUP 1-TD, CIBC post profit gains and hike dividends
* Ex-items EPS at both banks top estimates
* Wholesale banking income helps drive results
* TD dividend up 9 percent, but could be last increase this year
* CIBC boosted by cards deal, ups dividend by 2 percent
By Cameron French
TORONTO, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Toronto-Dominion Bank and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce both posted better-than-expected quarterly profits and raised their dividends on Thursday, benefiting from recent acquisitions and strong wholesale banking income.
The results, which pushed shares of both lenders higher, built on generally stronger-than-expected results from rivals Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal and National Bank of Canada earlier this week.
With a slowdown in Canadian lending growth, the banks have sought to expand other facets of their operations, both internally and through acquisitions.
"The core engine of the Canadian banks relative to where they've been in the past is not firing on all cylinders, however what we are seeing is the benefits of diversification that the banks have put in place," Barclays Capital analyst John Aiken said in an interview. Continued...