The Toro Co. last week reported net earnings of $154.8 million, or $2.62 per share, on a net sales increase of 4.2 percent to $2.04 billion for its fiscal year ended Oct. 31. In fiscal 2012, the company delivered net earnings of $129.5 million, or $2.14 per share, on net sales of $1.96 billion.
For the fourth quarter, Toro reported net earnings of $5 million, or $0.08 per share, on a net sales increase of 12.7 percent to $382.4 million. In the comparable fiscal 2012 period, the company posted net earnings of $0.3 million on net sales of $339.3 million.
The company also announced that its board of directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.20 per share, an increase from its previous quarterly dividend rate of $0.14 per share. This dividend is payable on Jan. 15, 2014, to shareholders of record on Dec. 30. In addition, the company increased its annual dividend guideline to 30 to 40 percent of its three-year average net earnings per share, up from the previous guideline of 20 to 30 percent. In fiscal 2013, the company paid $32.5 million in dividends and repurchased over 2 million shares of its common stock, returning more than $130 million in total cash to its shareholders.
“The Toro Company completed a record year with new highs for revenues, operating earnings and earnings per share,” said Michael Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and CEO. “We are particularly excited to have crossed over the $2 billion revenue milestone for the first time in the company’s history, a timely accomplishment as we head down the home stretch to our centennial in July 2014. In addition, we remain focused on returning value to our shareholders, as demonstrated by the increase in both our annual dividend guideline and quarterly cash dividend.”
The company expects revenue growth for fiscal 2014 to be about 4 to 5 percent, and net earnings to be about $2.85 to $2.90 per share. For the first quarter, the company expects net earnings to be about $0.35 per share, with unfavorable year-over-year quarterly comparisons due to increased sales accelerated into the first quarter of last year by the Tier 4 diesel engine transition that will not be repeated this year.
The Toro Co. is a worldwide provider of turf, landscape, rental and construction equipment, and irrigation and outdoor lighting solutions.