The Toro Co. last week reported record net sales and net earnings for the fiscal year ended October 31.
Net earnings for the year totaled $129.1 million, or $2.91 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $114.1 million, or $2.45 per diluted share, in fiscal 2005. Net sales for fiscal 2006 increased 3.2 percent to $1,836 million from $1,779.4 million last year.
For the fourth quarter ended October 31, 2006, Toro reported net earnings of $4.5 million, or $0.10 per diluted share, on net sales of $329.5 million. In the comparable fiscal 2005 period, the company reported net earnings of $6.6 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, on net sales of $337.1 million.
Continued strong cash flows from operations enabled the company to use $147 million for share repurchases and $15 million for dividend payments during fiscal 2006. The board of directors increased the quarterly dividend from $0.09 to $0.12 per common share, payable January 12, 2007, to shareholders of record on December 18, 2006.
Toro reported that worldwide growth in its professional segment net sales helped offset lower net sales in the domestic residential segment. International net sales increased 12.6 percent over 2005 and accounted for 27 percent of total revenues, up from 24.8 percent in 2005.
Completion of fiscal 2006 marks the conclusion of the company’s three-year profitability and revenue growth initiative. Michael Hoffman, chairman and CEO, noted that Toro exceeded the 6 percent profit-after-tax goal and fell just short of the 8 percent three-year compounded revenue growth goal for the 6+8 initiative.