Toro Pulls In Record-Setting Profits In First Quarter

Toro Pulls In Record-Setting Profits In First Quarter

A lack of snowfall affected the lawn, turf and road maintenance equipment maker little, largely due to strong sales in its other divisions.

Despite this year’s mild winter and lackluster demand for snow removal equipment, Toro Company has kicked off 2016 with record-setting first quarter results.
 
In the three-month period ending January 29, the Bloomington-based manufacturer of lawn, turf, and road maintenance equipment reported Thursday net sales of $486.4 million, a 2.6 percent gain from its sales of $474.2 million during its first quarter of 2015. Toro’s revenue results narrowly missed analysts’ estimations.
 
“We are very encouraged by the positive start to the fiscal year,” said Toro CEO Michael Hoffman in a statement. The company’s strongest sellers, Hoffman added, were zero-turn riding mowers, landscape contractor equipment, specialty construction equipment, and golf irrigation products.
 
In a call to investors, Toro executives expressed particular confidence in its new product line for golf courses, which received a positive reception at the Golf Industry Show in San Diego last week. Although many golf courses are closing in the U.S., Hoffman noted “established markets like the U.K. and Japan” as places where its fairway mowers, sprinkler systems and other equipment would sell well.
 
Toro’s net earnings in the first quarter amounted to $39.3 million, or 70 cents per share, compared to the $31 million, or 54 cents per share, in earnings it reported for the same time a year ago. The company expects full-year revenue increases of roughly 4 percent from the year prior with earnings per share growth expectations of $3.85 to $3.95.
 
“Looking ahead to our primary selling season, we are well positioned across our businesses to drive retail sales and gain market share with our strong portfolio,” Hoffman said. Despite the pitfalls of unfavorable weather conditions or a weakening economic environment, Hoffman said the company “will remain focused on those things within our control—delivering new product innovation, providing strong customer service and driving solid market performance.”
 
Company stock has risen as much as 3.5 percent in trading today, up from yesterday’s close at $74.79.

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