The Toro Co. last week reported net earnings of $129.5 million, or $2.14 per share, on a net sales increase of 4 percent to $1.96 billion for its fiscal year ended Oct. 31. In fiscal 2011, the company delivered net earnings of $117.7 million, or $1.85 per share, on net sales of $1.88 billion.
For the fourth quarter, Toro reported net earnings of $0.3 million, on a net sales decrease of 7.8 percent to $339.3 million. In the comparable fiscal 2011 period, the company posted net earnings of $5 million, or $0.08 per share, on net sales of $368.1 million.
Earnings per share figures for all periods reported have been adjusted to reflect the company’s 2-for-1 stock split effective June 29.
“The Toro Company completed another record year with new highs for revenues and earnings per share,” said Michael Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and CEO. “While pleased with our performance, it could have been even better if not for limited snowfall around the world that reduced snowthrower sales by almost 50 percent. Despite the weather challenge and a continued sluggish worldwide economy, Toro made tremendous progress in 2012. New products and good execution helped grow our positions in golf equipment, landscape contractor and grounds, micro irrigation and residential mowing. Our investments in acquisitions to enter new markets and expand capacity for micro irrigation, are contributing and will fuel growth into the future. And our efforts on productivity are starting to gain traction, as we delivered another significant step towards our Destination 2014 operating earnings goal of 12 percent by the end of fiscal 2014.”
The company expects revenue growth for fiscal 2013 to be about 4 to 5 percent, and net earnings to be about $2.35 to $2.40 per share. For the first quarter, the company expects net earnings to be about $0.40 to $0.45 per share, positively impacted by anticipated accelerated purchases of diesel products in advance of the Tier 4 price change.
In the Professional segment, net sales for fiscal 2012 totaled $1.33 billion, up 7.3 percent over last year. Sales of golf equipment and irrigation were up domestically on continued demand as golf courses replaced equipment and renovated aging irrigation systems. Landscape maintenance equipment increased on the success of new products and retail demand in markets not impacted by the drought. Recent acquisitions also contributed incremental sales for the year. International economic issues, particularly Europe, negatively impacted the sales of most professional businesses for the year. For the fourth quarter, professional segment net sales were $228.6 million, up 5.6 percent from the comparable fiscal 2011 period.
Professional segment earnings for fiscal 2012 totaled $232.1 million, up 13.2 percent from the prior year. For the fourth quarter, professional segment earnings were $20.8 million, up 21.2 percent from the comparable fiscal 2011 period.
“We are early in our fiscal 2013, and mindful of the challenging world-wide economic environment and, as always, acutely aware of the volatility of Mother Nature,” Hoffman said. “Nonetheless, the outlook for our end markets appears promising. Golf rounds and revenues were up last year, housing and construction are showing signs of improvement, and the agriculture market continues to adopt more efficient methods of irrigation.”
The Toro Co., Bloomington, Minn., is a worldwide provider of turf and landscape maintenance equipment, irrigation technologies and outdoor lighting solutions to help customers care for golf courses, sports fields, public green spaces, commercial and residential properties, and agricultural fields.