Quarterly earnings reports last week by Toronto-Dominion Bank and Royal Bank of Canada met or exceeded the estimates of analysts in this country and Canada.

Analysts said the results reflected strengths in the United States, where they compete in syndicated loan deals and mutual fund sales.

Shares of Toronto-Dominion rose 18.75 cents, to $54 Thursday, when it reported earnings of $1.14 a share, up from $1 a year earlier and $1.01 in the first quarter of this year. The earnings were higher than CIBC Wood Gundy's estimate of $1.05 a share and a Street consensus of $1.09.

Its shares were at $54.375 Friday.

"A blended multiple of different businesses" contributes to the appeal of Toronto-Dominion, said CIBC analyst Mark Maxwell.

Credit quality remains strong, with provisions exceeding bad loans by $427 million, he added. Excess security gains of $25 million after-tax contributed to the increase.

Royal Bank of Canada on Thursday reported earnings per share of $1.28 for the most recent quarter, compared to $1.36 a year earlier and $1.02 in the previous quarter of this year. Its shares rose a combined $2.50 on Tuesday and Wednesday, to $48, in anticipation of the report and fell to $43.75 on the news. Shares closed Friday at $47.5625.

Royal Bank of Canada surprised analysts with a 4% dividend increase, a 3.5% share repurchase program, and a core return on equity exceeding estimates.

Operations from Royal Bank of Canada's wealth management unit contributed $85 million, or 19% of overall profit, up 21% from a year earlier. The corporate and institutional bank added $106 million, or 24%, up 25% from a year earlier.

With announced share buybacks and dividend increases, management at Royal Bank of Canada "is committed to improving its capital generation from operating results," said Merrill Lynch Global Securities analyst Jamie Keating.

Separately, National Bank of Canada is said to be expanding operations with the purchase of First Marathon Inc. for $547 million.

National Bank would merge First Marathon, Canada's largest independent securities firm, with its own securities unit, Levesque Beaubin Geoffrion.

Meanwhile, U.S. banks had a mixed day on Friday with money-centers losing some ground and certain regionals posting modest gains.

The Standard & Poor's bank index gained 0.41%, while the Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.34%. The Nasdaq bank index added 0.20%, and the S&P 500 fell 0.64%.

United Security Bancorp., a $495 million asset bank in Washington State, continues earning attention from the street.

United Security recently completed the purchase of Bank of the West, a contributor to the bank's threefold increase in assets and the branch network since 1993.

The addition should benefit United Security because Bank of the West is a "high performing, conservatively run institution," said analyst Hans Schroeder of Hoeffer & Arnett.

Over the last five years, the company has seen more than a 20% compound annual growth in net income, assets, and loans.

United Security shares closed at $13.50, up 18.75 cents.

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