The Toro Co. reported net earnings of $40.1 million, or $0.68 per share, on a net sales increase of 1.2 percent to $509.9 million for its fiscal third quarter ended Aug. 2, compared to net earnings of $40.5 million, or $0.67 per share, on net sales of $504.1 million in the third quarter of 2012.
For the first nine months, Toro reported net earnings of $149.9 million, or $2.53 per share, on a net sales increase of 2.4 percent to $1.66 billion compared to net earnings of $129.3 million, or $2.13 per share, on net sales of $1.62 billion in the first nine months of fiscal 2012.
“For the quarter, our results were strengthened by a summer growing season with favorable temperatures and precipitation levels as compared to last year’s severe drought conditions,” said Michael Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and CEO. “The more desirable weather helped us drive retail sales across most of our businesses and, in particular, our residential business. In addition to realizing sales delayed in the prior quarter by adverse spring weather conditions, our residential business benefited from increased demand for our new and innovative products, including our Timecutter zero-turn radius riding products and our recently introduced line of lithium-ion battery-powered string and hedge trimmers.”
Professional segment net sales for the third quarter totaled $343.9 million, down 4.8 percent from the prior-year period. The quarterly sales decrease primarily was attributable to the Tier 4 diesel engine transition and related acceleration of a significant portion of the company’s professional sales into its first quarter from later quarters as historically experienced. Offsetting the decrease, shipments of landscape contractor equipment benefited from increased demand for zero-turn radius products driven by more favorable weather conditions this quarter compared to the drought conditions last year, as well as newly introduced product offerings. Rental and construction equipment sales were up on increased product demand.
For the first nine months, professional segment net sales were $1.17 billion, up 6.2 percent from the comparable fiscal 2012 period.
Professional segment earnings for the third quarter totaled $60.5 million, down 14.2 percent from the prior-year period. For the first nine months, professional segment earnings were $233.5 million, up 10.5 percent from the comparable fiscal 2012 period.
“Year-to-date our results are solid and our business fundamentals remain sound,” Hoffman added. “Our golf and landscape contractor businesses are benefitting from innovative and high performing equipment offerings valued by our end-user customers, we continue to grow our micro irrigation business around the world, and we realized additional sales from increased customer demand for our rental products and newly introduced Toro-branded underground and construction products.”
The company now expects revenue growth for fiscal 2013 to be about 4 percent and net earnings to be about $2.55 per share, or an increase of about 19 percent over fiscal 2012.
Toro is a worldwide provider of turf, landscape, rental and construction equipment, and irrigation and outdoor lighting solutions.