Toronto-Dominion First-Quarter Profit Falls on Litigation Costs in Florida

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD), Canada’s second-largest bank, said profit declined for the first time in more than a year after it recorded litigation costs related to a Ponzi scheme in Florida. The lender boosted its quarterly dividend 5.9 percent.

Net income for the period ended Jan. 31 fell 5.3 percent to C$1.48 billion ($1.5 billion), or C$1.55 a share, from C$1.56 billion, or C$1.67, a year earlier, the Toronto-based bank said today in a statement.

Toronto-Dominion recorded costs of C$171 million for litigation related to disbarred Florida attorney Scott Rothstein, who admitted running a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme. The bank lost a $67 million jury verdict in January over an investor group’s claims the lender helped Rothstein.

Excluding the litigation reserve and other one-time items, Toronto-Dominion said it earned C$1.86 a share. That topped the C$1.77-a-share average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

The bank boosted its quarterly dividend to 72 cents a share, from 68 cents.

Toronto-Dominion rose 0.6 percent to C$80.83 in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange yesterday. The shares have risen 6 percent this year, compared with a 5.5 percent gain on the 10- member S&P/TSX Banks Index (STBANKX).

(Toronto-Dominion will hold a conference call at 3 p.m. Toronto time to discuss the results. To listen, visit http://www.td.com/investor/qr_2012.jsp or dial +1-416-644-3415 or +1-877-974-0445.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Sean B. Pasternak in Toronto at spasternak@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net; David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.