UPDATE 2-TD profit beats estimates on Canadian retail, wholesale strength

Thu May 28, 2015 4:57pm EDT
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(Adds executive comments from conference call, updates shares to close)

By John Tilak

TORONTO May 28 (Reuters) - Toronto-Dominion Bank on Thursday posted a second- quarter profit that beat market expectations, on strong growth in its Canadian retail and wholesale businesses.

The Canadian retail segment recorded an 8 percent increase in earnings for the period. It was supported by loan and deposit volume growth, asset growth in the wealth business and gains in insurance.

Profit at the bank's wholesale unit rose 19 percent, benefiting from higher trading and underwriting activity.

The results follow quarterly numbers from Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal, CIBC and National Bank of Canada, all of which reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings.

But investors remained concerned about the potential lack of growth catalysts for the Canadian banks, with worries that a sluggish economy and a slump in oil prices will further weigh on sentiment. TD slipped 1.1 percent to C$55.37.

"Our operating environment remains challenging. Prolonged low rates (are) slowing the Canadian economy," Chief Executive Bharat Masrani said on a conference call.

"Mixed recovery signals from the U.S., continued expectations for low oil prices, and regulatory and legislative pressures in both the U.S. and Canada will continue to result in slower revenue growth."   Continued...