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TORO POSTS 10 PERCENT RISE IN EARNINGS FOR THIRD QUARTER

 TORO POSTS 10 PERCENT RISE IN EARNINGS FOR THIRD QUARTER
 BLOOMINGTON, Minn., May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The Toro Company


(NYSE: TTC) today announced net earnings for the third quarter of fiscal 1992 rose 10.3 percent from the third quarter of fiscal 1991. Earnings were leveraged on a 6.9 percent increase in sales, principally from commercial and irrigation products.
 For the third quarter ended May 1, 1992, net earnings were $9.4 million or 78 cents per share vs. $8.5 million or 71 cents per share in the third quarter ended May 3, 1991. Sales in the third quarter of fiscal 1992 reached $224.1 million, compared to $209.7 million in the third quarter of fiscal 1991.
 For the nine-month period, Toro recorded a net loss of $8.7 million or 73 cents per share. That compares to net earnings of $11.0 million, or 92 cents per share, for the year-ago period. The fiscal 1992 period includes an after-tax charge of $10.2 million, or 85 cents per share, associated with the restructuring of the consumer products segment. Sales for the first nine months were $499.9 million vs. $526.8 million for the same period a year ago, a decline of 5 percent.
 Commercial sales continued strong worldwide, rising 14 percent in the quarter compared to the same period last year, the company said. It attributed the increase to continued strong demand from the golf market and acceptance of its new commercial product introductions, including a line of dedicated sprayer vehicles. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kendrick B. Melrose said, "A continuation of this trend will obviously depend on a sustained recovery in the U.S. and other key markets." He said the company continues to monitor closely retail activity and field inventories and to make corrections as required at the manufacturing level.
 Irrigation sales significantly rebounded in the quarter from an abnormally low volume in the year-ago quarter. The company said the increase came largely from domestic sales, citing improved residential and commercial market conditions, strong golf course demand and a more optimistic outlook among the distribution network. Melrose said the sales level in the quarter represents a more normal level of residential and commercial sales following a significant reduction in dealer inventory levels of a year ago.
 Consumer sales declined 2 percent in the quarter from a low year-ago quarter. "Our industry has not yet seen a turnaround in retail sales activity and continued to reflect consumers' reluctance to purchase big ticket items such as riding mowers and lawn and garden tractors," Melrose said. "In addition, a late spring in many major metropolitan markets slowed sales in the quarter." He said it's too early to know if those sales were deferred and will occur in the fourth quarter or if they are lost for the current selling season.
 Gross margins for the quarter were 34.4 percent, down slightly from 34.9 percent a year ago. The decline resulted primarily from continued under-utilization of plant capacity.
 SG&A expenses rose approximately 5 percent in the quarter. Major contributing factors were higher promotions to aggressively reduce Lawn- Boy inventory levels, increased advertising and promotions in response to a challenging economic environment and continued investment in the development of new commercial products in line with the company's strategy to become a full-line turf maintenance supplier, the company said.
 Melrose said the company has maintained a strong financial position throughout the recessionary period. Toro's inventory levels were substantially lower compared to the same period last year with inventories down across its three product lines.
 Melrose said, "Although there continues to be considerable uncertainty in the marketplace, we are optimistic that our 1993 operating plan will enable a turnaround in profitability. We believe the restructuring undertaken this year will begin to pay dividends in fiscal 1993 and beyond. Moreover, we believe tcombined with a solid balance sheet and cash flow position, will work in our favor."
 The Toro Company is the nation's leading independent manufacturer and marketer of outdoor maintenance and irrigation equipment.
 -0- 5/21/92
 /NOTE: To receive The Toro Company's latest news release and other corporate documents, free of charge via fax, simply dial 1-800-PRO-INFO. Use company code 154./
 /CONTACT: Dennis Himan, 612-887-8411, or Stephen D. Keating, 612-887-8526, both of Toro; Fred Nachman of Financial Relations Board- Chicago, 312-266-7800; or Karen Griffiths of Financial Relations Board- New York, 212-661-8030 for Toro/
 (TTC) CO: The Toro Company ST: Minnesota IN: MAC SU: ERN


KH -- MN008 -- 2725 05/21/92 10:34 EDT
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Date:May 21, 1992
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