The Toro Co. last week reported net earnings of $17.3 million, or $0.53 per share, on net sales of $383.2 million for its fiscal first quarter ended Jan. 28, a 16-percent jump compared to net earnings of $10.9 million, or $0.32 per share, on net sales of $331.4 million in the first quarter of 2010.
“Fiscal 2011 is off to a good start,” said Michael Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and CEO. “We are pleased with the ongoing recovery of our professional businesses driven by excitement around our new innovations and improving market conditions. Significant snowfalls drove strong retail demand for snow products, which helped the quarter, and also provided revenue for landscape contractor customers, which will support purchases of mowing equipment as we head into spring.”
Selling, general and administrative expense for the fiscal 2011 first quarter was up $12.8 million, or 13.3 percent from the same period last year, but declined as a percent of sales to 28.6 percent from 29.2 percent. The decline in SG&A as a percent of sales reflects further leveraging of costs over increased sales volumes, which was somewhat muted by higher warranty expense.
“Customer confidence in our markets is continuing to build,” said Hoffman. “Professional customers are beginning to reinvest in their businesses, and we are well positioned with a record level of new products to drive retail demand and increase our market share. While always mindful of the impact of Mother Nature on our business, we are optimistic about the selling season ahead.”
The company now expects fiscal 2011 net earnings to be about $3.40 per share on a revenue increase of about 7 percent. For its fiscal 2011 second quarter, the company expects to report net earnings of about $1.58 per share.
The Toro Co., Bloomington, Minn., is a global provider of turf and landscape maintenance equipment, and precision irrigation systems.