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The Toro Company Grows Third-Quarter Sales 16 Percent

The Toro Co. (NYSE: TTC) last week reported net earnings of $33.4 million, or $1.01 per share, on net sales of $458.9 million for its fiscal third quarter ended July 30. In the comparable fiscal 2009 period, the company reported net earnings of $19.8 million, or $0.54 per share, on net sales of $394.9 million.

For the fiscal year to date, Toro reported net earnings of $90 million, or $2.66 per share, on net sales of $1.35 billion. In the comparable fiscal 2009 period, the company reported net earnings of $63.4 million, or $1.73 per share, on net sales of $1.23 billion.

“Even with concerns expressed by many economists of a slower recovery, we experienced strong end-user demand during our summer selling season,” said Michael Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and CEO. “Positive momentum for our innovative new products, particularly within our Professional markets, enabled us to deliver better-than-expected revenue and profit growth. Additionally, our ongoing focus on asset management resulted in a further reduction of average net working capital which, along with improved earnings, contributed to record operating cash flow for the nine month period."

Resulting from improved earnings and working capital benefits, the company’s cash flow from operations for the first nine months totaled $157.4 million compared with $119 million in the same period last year. For the year to date, the company repurchased $135.3 million of company stock.

“We are encouraged by the recovery of our markets and the increased demand for our products,” said Hoffman. “As we finish the fiscal year, we will stay focused on driving end-user demand and closely managing inventory levels. In fiscal 2011, our customers can expect us to once again bring forward a number of innovative new products to help them create and maintain beautiful landscapes, precisely irrigate turf and crops, and improve their productivity.”

The company now expects earnings for fiscal 2010 to be about $2.70 per share on a revenue increase of approximately 10 to 11 percent.

The Toro Company, Bloomington, Minn., is a leading worldwide provider of outdoor maintenance equipment and beautification products to help customers care for golf courses, sports fields, public green spaces, commercial and residential properties, and agricultural fields.

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