Toro’s new motto should be “Let it Snow!”
Toro Co. blew past Wall Street’s expectations Thursday by posting record fourth-quarter earnings that benefited handsomely from the recently acquired Boss snowplow equipment business.
The Bloomington-based maker of professional and residential lawn mowers, leaf blowers and snow throwers, bought the Boss snowplow and de-icing equipment business a year ago.
Toro CEO Michael Hoffman told analysts during a conference call Thursday that the Boss line doubled the company’s snow equipment sales from 5 percent of revenue to a welcome 10 percent.
In addition, the company saw increases in golf maintenance equipment sales and in landscape equipment orders.
Toro’s fourth-quarter profits leapt 115 percent to $23.5 million, or 42 cents a share, on sales that grew 16 percent to $480.8 million. Profits beat analysts’ expectations by 3 pennies per share, while the revenue beat expectations by $11 million.
For full fiscal 2015, which ended Oct. 31, Toro generated profits of $201.6 million, or $3.55 a share, and sales that grew 10 percent to $2.39 billion. Those results also beat analysts’ expectations.
Company officials said Toro did not escape negative foreign currency exchange rates that are hitting other manufacturers. Sales would have been 2 percentage points higher.
“Early this last year as the Toro Co. entered its second century, we were optimistic about the months ahead due to the addition of the Boss snow and ice management business [and] the positive momentum we were experiencing with early snow preseason sales and the broad lineup of innovative new products for fiscal 2015,” Hoffman said. “That optimism proved accurate, and we were able to sustain strong retail momentum across our businesses. … We are encouraged by the strong preseason demand for our snow and ice management products.”
Toro’s stock jumped 2 percent to $75.42 in early morning trading.
Toro President Rick Olson forecast that Toro’s fiscal 2016 revenue will grow 4 percent and that profits should reach $3.80 to $3.90 a share.
For the first quarter of 2016, Toro expects profits of 58 to 60 cents per share, official said.