The Toro Co. this week reported net earnings of $40.5 million, or $0.67 per share, on a net sales increase of 0.6 percent to $504.1 million for its fiscal third quarter ended Aug. 3. In the comparable fiscal 2011 period, the company delivered net earnings of $35.1 million, or $0.55 per share, on net sales of $501 million.
For the first nine months, Toro reported net earnings of $129.3 million, or $2.13 per share, on a net sales increase of 6.8 percent to $1,619.4 million. In the comparable fiscal 2011 period, the company posted net earnings of $112.6 million, or $1.76 per share, on net sales of $1,515.9 million.
Earnings per share figures for all periods reported have been adjusted to reflect the effects of a 2-for-1 stock split effective June 29.
“In May, we anticipated a slowdown in the second half of our fiscal year due to a more challenging economic environment and the impact the early start to spring had on the business,” said Michael Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and CEO. “What we didn’t predict was the worst drought in over 50 years. We were still able to deliver favorable third-quarter results in comparison to last year, but the combined impact of economic and weather conditions resulted in additional slowing of retail momentum and an increase in field inventory.
“Despite the recent drought conditions, there continues to be many positives in our businesses. Our market positions remain strong, benefitting from a strong portfolio of new products. Given the effects of recent weather conditions, the ongoing economic struggles in Europe, and the desire to right size field inventory levels, we are adjusting our fourth quarter guidance as we prepare the company for a successful 2013.”
Hoffman added that demand continued solid for the company’s Siteworks Systems business, especially from the rental market. “Although earlier demand from the rental companies eased for the quarter, it remains ahead for the year,” Hoffman told analysts during the company’s conference call.
The company now expects revenue growth for fiscal 2012 to be about 4 to 5 percent and net earnings to be about $2.10 per share, which continues to include the $0.08 negative earnings per share impact for investments related to the Astec and Stone product-line acquisitions.
The Toro Co. is a leading worldwide provider of turf and landscape maintenance equipment, and irrigation solutions, to help customers care for golf courses, sports fields, public green spaces, commercial and residential properties, and agricultural fields.