The Toro Company (NYSE:TTC) has reported net earnings of $9.3 million, or $0.36 per diluted share, on net sales of $313.6 million for its fiscal 2004 first quarter ended 30th January 2004.
In the comparable fiscal 2003 period, the company reported net earnings of $7.0 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, on net sales of $296.0 million. The company’s fiscal 2003 first quarter results included a one-time gain of $0.08 per diluted share resulting from a legal settlement.
“We are off to a strong start in the new fiscal year,” said Kendrick B. Melrose, The Toro Company chairman and chief executive officer. “Our first quarter net sales were up due to strong early orders for new landscape contractor products, snowthrower shipments and favourable foreign currency exchange effects.”
Compared with the fiscal 2003 first quarter, fiscal 2004 first quarter professional segment sales increased 7.4% to $207.7 million. The top-line growth in the quarter resulted primarily from increases in landscape contractor equipment and irrigation sales. “We are very encouraged by our customers‘ optimistic outlook for a strong 2004 expressed at this month’s Golf Course Superintendents Association of America Show and Conference, held in San Diego,” said Melrose.
International shipments for the first quarter benefited from favourable foreign currency exchange rates, as well as strong shipments of golf mowing equipment and irrigation products.
Professional segment earnings for the fiscal 2004 first quarter totalled $28.4 million, up 2.5% from the fiscal 2003 first quarter. Excluding the impact of the previously mentioned legal settlement on the professional segment results, earnings improvement for the current quarter would have exceeded the sales growth rate.
The Toro Company www.thetorocompany.com
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