Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD)(NYSE:TD) and Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY)(NYSE:RY) are normally the first names investors turn to when looking for Canadian bank exposure.
For the past six years Canadian banks have been a smart bet, but the oil rout continues to send shockwaves through the Canadian economy, and fears of a recession are mounting. The worst-case scenario calls for a dramatic rise in unemployment and a meltdown in the housing market.
That doesn’t sound like an inviting environment for bank investors, and the shares of the Big Five have been under pressure in recent weeks.
Let’s take a look at Toronto-Dominion Bank and Royal Bank of Canada to see if you should consider adding them to your portfolio after the recent pullback.
TD operates a very strong Canadian retail operation. It delivered year-over-year Q2 2015 adjusted net income growth of 6%, a solid number given the difficult environment facing the banks.
As the Canadian economy heads into a rough patch, TD’s US operations should help balance out the revenue stream. Over the past decade the company has invested $17 billion to build its US presence and now has more than 1,300 branches running from Maine right down to Florida. Last year CEO Bharat Masrani said TD now has the scale it needs to compete in the US market.
The timing looks pretty good as the US economy continues to improve and TD is getting a nice earnings boost from the stronger American dollar.
The company is undergoing a comprehensive review of its operations and recently announced a $228 million restructuring charge. Most of the costs will be tied to changes in the US group as the company transitions from a growth strategy to one focused on improving efficiency and profitability. Investors should see the benefits start to show up at the end of this year.
TD pays a dividend of $2.04 per share that yields about 3.9%. The company recently increased the payout by 9%.
Just $3.8 billion, or 1% of the companys loans, is connected to the oil and gas sector.
In Q2 2015 Royal delivered record adjusted net income of $2.4 billion, a 9% jump over the same period a year ago.
The company gets about 51% of its earnings from personal and commercial banking activities. Capital markets bring in 24%, wealth management contributes 11%, and the company’s insurance group recently kicked in 8% of profits. Investor and treasury services make up the rest.
The company is betting big on US wealth management with a US$5.4 billion deal to acquire California-based City National Corp. The purchase provides Royal with a good platform to expand its asset-management operations south of the border.
Royal also increased its dividend this year and now pays $3.08 per share that yields about 4%.
About 1.5% of Royals total loan book is exposed to the oil and gas sector, and Alberta represents about 15% of its mortgage portfolio.
Should You Buy TD or Royal?
Both banks are currently trading at an attractive 11 times forward earnings. TD relies less on capital markets, which can be quite volatile, so it might be the more conservative pick. Nonetheless, investors with a long-term outlook should be comfortable holding either stock at this point.