Forced to stay at home because of the coronavirus pandemic, many people turned their attention to home-and-garden projects.
That helped Toro make up some of the lost revenue in the second quarter from its larger professional segment, down nearly 9% because of COVID-19.
Overall sales for the quarter were $929.4 million, down 3.4%, the Bloomington-based company said on Thursday. Earnings for the second quarter were $98.4 million, or 92 cents a share, down 14.8% from the same period a year ago. Both missed analysts' estimates.
Residential sales in the second quarter increased 12.9% to $262 million with strengths in zero-turn riding and walk-power mowers. The segment also benefited from an expanded retail network, including the recent addition of Tractor Supply Stores. The unit made $37.1 million in the quarter, up 68.5%.
The professional segment, which produces 78% of overall sales, saw quarterly sales drop 8.6% to $723.5 million. The segment's earnings declined nearly 30% to $106.3 million.
Like many companies, Toro pulled its guidance for the remainder of the year, citing the uncertainties of the economy.
The company did say it expects the most pronounced declines in the third quarter and negative year-over-year comparisons in the fourth.
"In May, the residential segment momentum continued — driven by the same factors, while the professional segment saw a significant step down in some markets as customers reduced capital budgets and deferred new purchases," said Toro's chairman and chief executive, Rick Olson, in a news release.
The net-sales decrease in the second quarter was partly offset by the recent acquisitions of Charles Machine Works in 2019 and the addition of Ventrac earlier this year.
Toro bought the Oklahoma-based Charles Machine Works a little over a year ago in its largest-ever acquisition. Olson told analysts on the company's earnings call that Toro was on track to meet or exceed its integration and synergy goals.
Olson opened the earnings call by acknowledging the death of George Floyd and the larger social and system issues surrounding his death.
Shares of Toro closed down 2% at $69.90. Toro's shares year-to-date are down 14%.