Professional landscapers help Toro post record results

Increased spending by landscape contractors who invested in new turf and snow and ice management equipment helped the Toro Co. report record results for its first quarter of fiscal 2017.The company earned $45 million, or 41 cents per share, on revenue of...

Professional landscapers help Toro post record results

Increased spending by landscape contractors who invested in new turf and snow and ice management equipment helped the Toro Co. report record results for its first quarter of fiscal 2017.

The company earned $45 million, or 41 cents per share, on revenue of $515.8 million. In the same period a year ago, the company made $39.3 million, or 35 cents per share, the Bloomington-based company reported Thursday.

Revenue for the quarter rose 6.1 percent.

Analysts covering the company polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of 36 cents per share on sales of $502.5 million.

"The company is off to a solid start for the year with record results for the first quarter," said Richard Olson, Toro's president and CEO, in a release.

Toro enjoyed some of its strongest growth in the professional segment, which saw sales rise 9.7 percent to $371.8 million. For example, new product introductions of zero-turn mowers did well, as did sales of its Boss snow and ice management products in the Midwest, which had good snowfalls early in the season. New BOSS snowplow products helped drive The Toro Co.'s first quarter results for fiscal 2017. (Jacobson Rost/photo provided by Toro)

    "We continue to focus on delivering new products with customer-valued innovation. The new Titan HD and Exmark Radius mowers have been well-received by landscape professionals and acreage owners," Olson said.

    Sales in Toro's residential segment dropped 2.7 percent to $140.4 million for the quarter.

    Toro continues to expect fiscal 2017 revenue to increase 3 to 4 percent and widened the earnings-per-share range it expects for the year. The company now expects earnings in the $2.25 to $2.30 per share range, up from the $2.20 to $2.26 range it expected after reporting year-end results in December. But the company announced that it expects second-quarter profit to be about $1 per share while analysts were expecting $1.06 per share for the upcoming quarter.

    Shares of Toro closed Thursday at $60.72, up 1 cent per share.

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