AP News

Toro fiscal 3Q net up, economy prompts outlook cut

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — The Toro Co. said Thursday that fiscal third quarter net income rose slightly as higher sales of new landscaping equipment and other commercial products offset slowing residential sales.

The impact of the drought in the nation's midsection and a challenging economic environment led the company to cut its forecast for the fiscal year that ends in October.

The Bloomington, Minn., company earned $40.5 million, or 67 cents per share, compared with $35.1 million, or 55 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $504.1 million from $501 million.

Analysts expected a profit of 61 cents per share on revenue of $526.3 million, according to FactSet.

Sales of its residential products fell 8 percent, dragged down by weak demand for snow blowers after the mild winter. Sales of riding mowers also fell. In its professional segment, a 4 percent increase in sales was driven by landscaping equipment and products for golf courses, like mowers and irrigators.

Toro said it expected to see a slowdown this spring on the mild winter and weak economy.

"What we didn't predict was the worst drought in over 50 years," CEO Michael Hoffman said in a statement.

Toro now expects fiscal fourth-quarter net income of about $2.10 per share on revenue growth of 4 to 5 percent. In May, it expected revenue growth of 7 to 8 percent and net income of $4.30 per share, before a two-for-one stock split.

Analysts currently expect a profit of $2.11 per share on revenue of $2.01 billion. In the last fiscal year, Toro earned $3.70 per share on revenue of $1.88 billion.

Shares lost 32 cents to $37.25 in midday trading.

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