Toro Sees Earnings Rise 15.6% in Third Quarter, but Lowers Forecast for 2012

In announcing third-quarter earnings, Toro Co. lowered its sales and earnings forecasts for fiscal 2012, citing the weak U.S. economy, struggles in Europe and severe drought in much of the United States.

The Bloomington-based maker of professional and residential lawn mowers and turf irrigation systems said it now expects sales to grow just 4 to 5 percent in 2012 and earnings to reach about $2.10 per share.

That's down from the May forecast, when officials predicted sales growth of 7 to 8 percent and earnings of $2.15 per share.

The shift largely stems from tough weather that dented residential sales. Total third-quarter revenue rose less than 1 percent to $504.1 million from a year ago.

Earnings, however, rose 15.6 percent to $40.5 million, or 67 cents per share, beating analysts' expectations by a nickel. Toro shares fell slightly Thursday, closing at $37.47, down 10 cents a share.

For more about Toro's third-quarter results...