Strong sales of residential products and rebounding business confidence in the professional segment boosted Toro's fourth quarter and year-end results.
For the fourth quarter ended Oct. 31, the Bloomington-based company earned $72.2 million, or 66 cents per share, up 89% from the fourth quarter last year. Adjusted net earnings were $69.2 million, or 64 cents per share, up 33%.
Sales for the quarter increased 14.5% to $814 million, pushing yearly sales to $3.38 billion and 7.7% annual growth. Adjusted net earnings for the year increased 1.1% to $327.7 million, while adjusted EPS increased 2 cents to $3.02 per share.
"Our strong fourth-quarter results were driven by continued sales growth in our residential segment and a rebound in our professional segment," said Chief Executive Richard Olson in a news release.
Sales and earnings for both the fourth quarter and year exceeded analysts' expectations.
Strong demand for walk power and zero-turn riding lawn mowers helped the residential segment increase sales 38.5% in the quarter to $187.9 million. New product introductions in the segment and homeowners' renewed focus on home improvements helped drive the sales.
The residential segments earnings in the quarter also increased 90.2% to $26.4 million.
The larger professional segment reported revenue of $644 million, up 9.5% from the year-ago quarter. Earnings in the segment were $104.2 million, up 70.2%.
The company said the professional segment's results were aided by the company's recent acquisitions, the $700 million purchase of Charles Machine Works in 2019 and the $168 million acquisition of Venture Products Inc. this year.
Toro offered guidance for its new fiscal year, estimating sales to increase 6 to 8% and adjusted EPS in the $3.35 to $3.45 per-share range. The company cautioned, though, that there continues to be considerable uncertainty due to COVID-19.
The company anticipates the residential segment will continue to grow in 2021, but not as fast as it did this year. Officials anticipate the professional segment will continue to benefit from the increased rollout of broadband and 5G networks, while golf courses will continue to see the number of rounds played increase while adding back revenue from their food and beverage and events businesses that were severely impacted by pandemic restrictions.
Shares of Toro closed Wednesday at $92.26, down 26 cents. Over the past 52 weeks, Toro's stock has traded in the range of $52.07 to $93.15 per share.
Patrick Kennedy • 612-673-7926