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Toro Reports Stronger Residential Demand for Outdoor Power Equipment
Aug 22, 2013
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The Toro Company reported net earnings of $40.1 million after net sales increased 1.2% to $509.9 million in its fiscal third quarter, which ended Aug. 2, 2013. In 3Q fiscal 2012, the company had net earnings of $40.5 million on net sales of $504.1 million.

In the first nine months of its 2013 fiscal year Toro reported net earnings of $149.9 million, with net sales up 2.4% to $1,659.1 million. In 3Q fiscal 2012 the company posted net earnings of $129.3 million on net sales of $1,619.4 million.

"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 J. 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."

Hoffman said the weather helped the company realize sales that were delayed in the prior quarter by adverse spring weather conditions. Residential business also benefited from increased demand for new products. Among the new products are the Timecutter zero-turn radius riding mower and a line of string and hedge trimmers powered with lithium-ion batteries.

Toro professional business: Hoffman said that, in the professional business, a Tier 4 diesel engine transition caused some professional sales to be accelerated into the company's first quarter from later quarters, and continues to impact the quarterly results for the Toro professional business.

Toro golf and landscape contractor business: Hoffman said the businesses are benefitting from innovative and high performing product offerings. The Toro micro irrigation business continued to grow worldwide.

Hoffman acknowledged that an outdoor power equipment business such as Toro's can always be impacted by the weather. Taking that ever-present unpredictability into account, along with the an expectation of continuing slow worldwide economic growth, the company is cautiously optimistic about the rest of the fiscal year.

Snowthrower product sales are expected to be better, for one. "We expect favorable sales comparisons to last year's fourth quarter when limited prior season snowfall in North America and Europe significantly affected demand for our snowthrower products," Hoffman said.

Toro now expects revenue growth in fiscal 2013 to be about 4% and net earnings to be up about 19% from fiscal 2012.

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