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Toro to buy Chinese company; profits rise 58%

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The company said quarterly earnings climbed nearly 60 percent.

| February 22, 2013

The Toro Co. reported first-quarter earnings growth and said it will strengthen its presence in China through the acquisition of a “micro-irrigation” company.

Bloomington-based Toro, which provides turf, landscape, rental, and construction equipment, as well as irrigation and outdoor lighting products, said its performance was driven by strong demand for large turf equipment and growth in micro-irrigation sales. Micro-irrigation refers to systems that slowly drip water to the roots of plants.

Toro’s earnings for the quarter that ended February 1 totaled $31.4 million, or 53 cents per share, up about 58 percent from the same period a year ago. Revenue, meanwhile, climbed about 5 percent to $444.7 million.

The company’s earnings exceeded the expectations of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, who anticipated 43 cents per share. Sales, however, fell short of the $461.6 million that analysts predicted. Shares of Toro’s stock were trading up 0.02 percent at $45.25 Thursday morning.

“The optimistic outlook of customers across our businesses is encouraging, as we prepare for our primary selling season,” chairman and CEO Michael Hoffman said in a statement. “Barring new economic headwinds, we anticipate the momentum our golf, landscape contractor, and micro-irrigation businesses enjoyed this past quarter will carry into spring. Our residential business retail potential looks solid as well.”

For the rest of the story, click here.

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