Homeowners bought more lawn mowers, both walking power mowers and zero-turn riding mowers, from Toro this summer after a long, wet spring dampened their sales to consumers earlier this year.
The added sales helped Toro exceed profit expectations in the third quarter ended Aug. 3. The Bloomington-based company earned $79 million, or 73 cents per share, compared with net earnings of $68.4 million, or 61 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.
The company's adjusted earnings of 68 cents per share beat analysts' expectations by two pennies. However, Toro's record sales of $655.8 million, an increase of 4.4 percent over last year, was shy of expectations of $664.8 million.
Residential sales grew 9.5 percent in the quarter, while the larger professional segment saw a 3 percent increase to $482.5 million.
Looking forward, Toro customers are already preparing for the winter season with increased preseason orders.
"Both our Boss Snowplow and residential snow businesses have strong orders in hand and are well-positioned for the coming season," Toro Chairman and CEO Richard Olson said in the company's earnings release.
Toro also will have new ice management products to offer those customers, including a new Toro two-stage snow thrower and new snowplows from its Boss division.
Toro did lower the top end of its earnings guidance range for the remainder of the year in anticipation of increasing impacts of tariffs and raw- material price increases. After the company's second quarter ended in April, the company expected fiscal 2018 earnings to be between $2.66 and $2.71 per share; it now expects the range to be $2.66 to $2.69 per share for the full fiscal year.
The company's stock lost 3.6 percent in value to close Thursday at $59.29 a share.