Outdoor power equipment maker The Toro Company reported net earnings of U.S. $14.3 million, or $0.32 per diluted share, on net sales of $369.6 million for its fiscal 2006 first quarter ended Feb. 3, 2006. In the comparable fiscal 2005 period, Toro reported net earnings of $11.2 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, on net sales of $346.9 million.
Michael J. Hoffman, Toro president and CEO, said the company's first quarter performance benefited from strong sales growth in international markets and from the company's continued focus on profitability improvement. "With our solid first quarter results, we are well positioned to meet our sales and earnings growth goals for fiscal 2006," said Hoffman.
Toro's international business posted a healthy sales increase, primarily from its core markets, as well as strong contributions from Hayter, Ltd., which the company acquired in February 2005. Compared to the fiscal 2005 first quarter, international sales grew 33.9 percent.
In the company's professional segment, first quarter sales $253.6 million, up 3.4 percent compared to the same period in 2005. Segment earnings for the 2006 first quarter totaled $41.7 million, up 7.2 percent from $38.9 million of 2005.
Toro reported its residential segment sales for quarter totaled $108.2 million, up 12.8 percent compared with the fiscal 2005 first quarter. Growth in residential international sales accounted for the revenue increase, including contributions from Hayter and strong sales of riding products, according to the company. Segment earnings for quarter totaled $5.1 million, up 16.1 percent from $4.4 million in the first quarter of 2005.
The company reaffirmed its outlook for the remainder of fiscal 2006 and expects to achieve earnings per share growth of 12 to 15 percent on sales growth of 8 percent.
"We are off to a good start in the new fiscal year," said Hoffman. "Overall, we currently believe conditions in our core markets will be more favorable in 2006 than they were last year. With innovative new products across multiple categories now entering the market, we are well positioned to benefit from share and overall market growth. In addition, we are expanding our brand presence at retail through strategies such as the launch of a new line of lawn and garden tractors and we continue to benefit from our focus on international growth."
For its stand-alone fiscal 2006 second quarter, Toro expects to report net earnings per diluted share of $1.42 to $1.48.
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