The Globe and Mail reports in its Thursday, Feb. 6, edition that Desjardins Securities analyst Doug Young says the upcoming first quarter earnings season for Canadian banks is likely to "set the stage for the year." The Globe's David Leeder writes in the Eye On Equities column that Mr. Young believes downward estimate revisions for the sector are "mostly" complete. Ahead of the earnings season, Mr. Young "tweaked" his estimates. Accordingly, he cut his share target for Toronto-Dominions Bank to $79 from $81. Analysts on average target the shares at $79.27. Mr. Young continues to rate the bank "buy." Mr. Young says in a note: "The Big 6 Canadian banks (excluding NA) are trading below their 20-year historical average P/4QF EPS multiples. There are some tailwinds for the Canadian banks over the near term: (1) a constructive economic backdrop, with low unemployment; (2) a benign credit environment for now; (3) comfortable CET1 ratios; and (4) a focus on managing expenses—important as loan growth slows. In addition, the banks have been able to effectively manage a number of headwinds over the past few years. ... Relative to other investment alternatives in Canada, we believe bank valuations are still reasonable."
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