The Toro Co. last week reported net earnings of $62.8 million, or $1.60 per share, on net sales of $638.5 million for its fiscal second quarter ended May 2. In the comparable fiscal 2007 period, the company reported net earnings of $75.0 million, or $1.77 per share, on net sales of $686.7 million.
For the year to date, Toro reported net earnings of $81.4 million, or $2.07 per share, on net sales of $1,044.3 million. In the first half of fiscal 2007, the company reported net earnings of $93.4 million, or $2.21 per share, on net sales of $1,065.7 million.
“Fiscal 2008 has been a challenging year due to a weakening domestic economy, late spring and cautious ordering,” said Michael Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and CEO. “As a result, we have taken prudent actions to adjust production levels, control costs, and work with our channel partners on field inventory, which is significantly lower compared to last year. Our financial condition remains strong and we will keep investing to grow our business for the long term.”
The company’s continued strong cash flow prompted its board of directors to authorize the repurchase of up to 4 million additional shares of common stock. The board also declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.15 per common share, payable July 11, to shareholders of record on June 20.
“We remain focused on managing our business in light of these difficult conditions, and will continue to drive customer demand for our innovative products,” Hoffman said. “Field inventories are in good shape, our strategic direction is sound, and our cash flow remains strong. Additionally, we are encouraged by the tremendous efforts of all our employees and channel partners around the world.”
Looking ahead, the company expects fiscal 2008 net sales to be roughly equal to fiscal 2007 net sales of $1,876.9 million with net earnings per share flat to down 5 percent from the $3.40 per share reported for fiscal 2007.
The Toro Company, Bloomington, Minn., is a leading worldwide provider of outdoor maintenance and beautification products for home, recreation and commercial landscapes.