Sales up, earnings down for Toro in Q1

The first fiscal quarter of 2014 proved relatively constructive for The Toro Co.'s sales, but the equipment manufacturer backtracked in terms of net earnings.

Toro reported net sales of about $446 million for the three months ended Jan. 31, a 0.29% increase from the same period last year. 

Meanwhile, net earnings weighed in at $25.9 million, down from $31.4 million in the first quarter of 2013.

The company attributed the sales growth to strong demand for snow products and confirmed its strong positioning (thanks to new product offerings) for the primary selling season.

"Golf course development and renovations continue to progress and customers and channel partners alike are excited about our innovative new equipment and irrigation offerings, including those featured at the recent Golf Industry Show," said chairman and CEO Michael Hoffman. "Landscape contractor equipment sales are poised to benefit from the additional revenues generated by contractors this winter, as well as the increased demand we expect for our zero-turn radius mowers featuring new electronic fuel injection and onboard intelligence technologies. Global food demand and increased water-use restrictions continue to drive the need for more efficient irrigation solutions for agriculture, including our new Neptune thin wall drip line with flat emitter technology."