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Toro Says 4Q Profit Because Of Stronger Mower Sales

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Toro Headquarters In Bloomington Minnesota

(credit: CBS)

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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) – The Toro Co. said Tuesday that it bounced back to a profit in its fiscal fourth quarter after a loss a year ago as home owners bought more riding lawnmowers and landscaping professionals gave a lift to its mower and irrigation business.

The results beat Wall Street’s expectations for the quarter, but its forecast was below expectations for fiscal 2011.

Its shares rose about 2 percent in midday trading, but were well below their gains earlier in the day.

The company reported net income of $3.2 million, or 10 cents per share, for the three months ending Oct. 31, compared with a loss of $532,000, or 2 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue rose 17 percent to $337.3 million from $288.6 million a year ago as the company turned itself around with strong growth in landscape maintenance and irrigation equipment sales, as well as new products in its residential segment, Toro said in a statement.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 5 cents per share on revenue of $329.3 million.

Its shares rose $1.21, or 1.9 percent, to $63.62 in midday trading. They had risen as high as $64.60 earlier in the session.

“For Toro, it was a year marked by many successes and a return to change in the right direction,” Chairman and CEO Michael Hoffman said in the statement. “Investments we made during the downturn, along with renewed strength in our end markets, particularly worldwide golf and landscape contractor, have our revenues and profits growing once again.”

For the full year, Toro said its net income rose 48 percent to $93.2 million, or $2.79 per share, up from $62.8 million, or $1.73 a share, a year ago. Full-year revenue rose 11 percent to $1.69 billion from $1.52 billion a year earlier.

Still, Toro fell short of analysts’ forecasts for the full year. They expected earnings of $3.27 per share on revenue of $1.75 billion

The company said it expects earnings to improve in fiscal 2011 to $3.20 per share on a 5 percent revenue increase. First-quarter earnings, which are smaller because of the slower winter season, are expected to be around 40 cents per share.

Analysts expected fiscal 2011 earnings of $3.27 a share on $1.75 billion in revenue.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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