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Toronto-Dominion Bank (NYSE:TD) is the top banking pick of RBC Capital Markets analyst Andre-Philippe Hardy, who notes the whole sector performed better than expected in third quarter of 2007.

The big banks finished reporting their results last week and defied some of the direst predictions that had come out of recent market volatility related to the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

"We were comforted that the banks did not take major hits, although surprises may still spring up as the month of August [after the quarter end] proved to be even more volatile in equities and interest rates," Mr. Hardy said in a note.

He rates TD's stock to "outperform" the sector, with an C$83 12-month target price.

"Domestic retail momentum and higher earnings from the U.S. should drive above average retail earnings growth for TD," Mr. Hardy said.

There's also less downside risk to his forecast for TD's stock because the bank is less exposed to volatile wholesale banking earnings, he added.

TD 1-yr chart:

Source: TD Bank Is RBC Capital's "Top Pick"