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TORO REPORTS 36 PERCENT RISE IN NET EARNINGS FOR THIRD QUARTER; NINE-MONTH EARNINGS 85 CENTS VS. LOSS IN YEAR-AGO PERIOD

 BLOOMINGTON, Minn., May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Toro Company (NYSE: TTC) today reported net earnings for the third quarter of fiscal 1993 rose 36 percent from the third quarter of fiscal 1992. Toro Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kendrick B. Melrose said, "The improved operating results reflected higher sales, expense leveraging and benefits from restructuring initiatives implemented in fiscal 1992. Moreover, we are encouraged by the improved performance across our product lines to date and our progress in controlling costs, managing inventories and maintaining a strong cash flow."
 For the third quarter ended April 30, 1993, net earnings were $12.7 million, an increase of 36 percent, vs. $9.4 million in the year- ago quarter. Earnings per share for the quarter were $1.01 compared to 78 cents in the third quarter last year.
 Sales in the third quarter of fiscal 1993 rose to $241.4 million from $225.9 million for the year-ago quarter, an increase of nearly 7 percent. "The increase was attributable to strong demand, enthusiastic acceptance of new and innovative products across our product lines and broadened distribution channels for our consumer and irrigation products," said Melrose.
 For the nine-month period, Toro reported net earnings of $10.4 million or 85 cents per share. That compared to a net loss of $8.7 million or 73 cents per share for the year-ago nine-month period. The year-earlier loss reflects an after-tax charge of $10.2 million or 85 cents per share related to the restructuring of the consumer products business.
 Sales for the nine months rose to $508.0 million vs. $505.6 million for the same period last year.
 Commercial equipment worldwide sales rose 6.6 percent in the quarter compared to the year-ago quarter. The increase was fueled by continued strong demand for the company's commercial products and favorable acceptance of the new Workman(TM) utility vehicle line.
 Irrigation product sales showed a 19.3 percent increase in the quarter compared to the year-ago quarter, which was weakened by a continuing drought and sluggish economy. The sales growth came primarily from residential and commercial markets in the Sun Belt, expanding distribution to mass retailer channels and acceptance of new products, the company said.
 Consumer products recorded a 4.4 percent sales increase for the quarter vs. a year ago. Improved sales reflected strong acceptance of both the new Toro lawn tractor and the new Lawn-Boy product line, plus further penetration into the mass retailer channels.
 "We are particularly pleased with the robust demand for our broad array of new products, a trend we expect to continue through the fourth quarter," Melrose said. ``Nevertheless, we are approaching the fourth quarter cautiously, given the uncertainties of the weather and confidence in an economic recovery. Significantly slower-than-planned retail activity could adversely affect our reorders during the quarter and our ability to maintain the present momentum."
 The Toro Company is the leading provider of lawn and turf care products for residential, golf and commercial markets.
 THE TORO COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations (Unaudited)
 (Dollars in thousands, except per-share data)
 Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
 April 30, May 1, April 30, May 1,
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Net sales $241,347 $225,858 $507,962 $505,615
 Cost of sales 157,553 147,836 331,571 332,844
 Gross profit 83,794 78,022 176,391 172,771
 Selling, general and
 administrative expense 59,470 59,963 150,106 162,498
 Restructuring expense -- -- -- 15,000
 Earnings (loss)
 from operations 24,324 18,059 26,285 (4,727)
 Interest expense 4,568 5,034 12,978 14,024
 Other (income) expense, net (796) (749) (3,503) (5,920)
 Earnings (loss) before
 income taxes 20,552 13,774 16,810 (12,831)
 Provision (benefit) for
 income taxes 7,810 4,408 6,388 (4,106)
 Net earnings (loss) $12,742 $9,366 $10,422 $(8,725)
 Percent of net sales 5.3 4.1 2.1 (1.7)
 Net earnings (loss) per
 common and common share
 equivalent $1.01 $0.78 $0.85 $(0.73)
 Common and common
 share equivalents 12,592 11,999 12,312 11,964
 Certain prior year amounts have been reclassified to conform with the current year presentation.
 Sales by Product Line (Unaudited)
 (Dollars in thousands)
 Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
 April 30, May 1, April 30, May 1,
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Consumer products $135,621 $129,873 $276,982 $295,020
 Commercial products 73,841 69,253 152,603 140,390
 Irrigation products 31,885 26,732 78,377 70,205
 Total(a) $241,347 $225,858 $507,962 $505,615
 (a)Includes
 international
 sales of $56,606 $50,795 $99,266 $100,722
 THE TORO COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets (Unaudited)
 (Dollars in thousands)
 April 30, May 1,
 1993 1992
 ASSETS
 Cash $6,482 $10,472
 Receivables (net) 276,190 284,988
 Inventories 99,354 108,162
 Prepaid expenses 25,368 21,534
 Total current assets 407,394 425,156
 Property, plant and
 equipment, net 63,033 72,466
 Other assets 20,415 20,441
 Total assets $490,842 $518,063
 LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
 Current portion of
 long-term debt $16,140 $1,185
 Short-term debt 28,460 65,296
 Accounts payable 30,252 29,264
 Other accrued liabilities 124,922 104,640
 Total current liabilities 199,774 200,385
 Deferred income taxes 2,442 4,722
 Long-term debt, less current
 portion 147,960 164,110
 Stockholders' equity 140,666 148,846
 Total liabilities and
 stockholders' equity $490,842 $518,063
 -0- 5/20/93
 /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, VP/treasurer, 612-887-8411, or Stephen D. Keating, assistant treasurer, 612-887-8526, both of The Toro Company; Fred Nachman, 312-266-7800, or Karen Griffiths, 212-661-8030, both of the Financial Relations Board/
 (TTC)


CO: The Toro Company ST: Minnesota IN: SU: ERN

AL -- MN007 -- 0733 05/20/93 11:30 EDT
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Date:May 20, 1993
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