BLOOMINGTON, Minn.–The Toro Company (NYSE: TTC) today reported results for its fourth quarter and full fiscal year ended October 31, 2019.
“We concluded fiscal 2019 by exceeding the $3 billion revenue milestone and delivering strong gross margin and revenue growth momentum heading into fiscal 2020,” said Richard M. Olson, Toro’s chairman and chief executive officer. “The year was marked by record results, the transformational acquisition of Charles Machine Works and strong demand for snow and ice management products in our professional and residential segments. New product introductions contributed to our growth, such as the stand-on BOSS® Snowrator®, the redesigned Power Clear® snow thrower and the Flex-Force™ lithium-ion battery-powered products with all season capability. I would like to thank our team and channel partners for their dedication, consistent execution, and continued focus on our end customers.”
Fiscal Year 2019 Financial Highlights
- Net sales of $3,138.1 million, up 19.8% compared to fiscal 2018 net sales of $2,618.7 million
- Net earnings of $274.0 million, up 0.8% compared to fiscal 2018 net earnings of $271.9 million; *Adjusted net earnings of $324.3 million, up 11.8% compared to fiscal 2018 adjusted net earnings of $290.1 million
- Reported EPS of $2.53 per diluted share, up 1.2% compared to fiscal 2018 reported EPS of $2.50 per diluted share; *Adjusted EPS of $3.00 per diluted share, up 12.4% compared to fiscal 2018 adjusted EPS of $2.67 per diluted share
- Returned $116.1 million to shareholders: $96.1 million in dividends and $20.0 million through share repurchases
Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2019 Financial Highlights
- Net sales of $734.4 million, up 36.2% compared to fiscal 2018 net sales of $539.3 million
- Net earnings of $38.3 million, down 2.0% compared to fiscal 2018 net earnings of $39.0 million; *Adjusted net earnings of $51.8 million, up 51.5% compared to fiscal 2018 adjusted net earnings of $34.2 million
- Reported EPS of $0.35 per diluted share, down 2.8% compared to fiscal 2018 reported EPS of $0.36 per diluted share; *Adjusted EPS of $0.48 per diluted share, up 50.0% compared to fiscal 2018 adjusted EPS of $0.32 per diluted share
*Please see the tables provided for a reconciliation of non-GAAP adjusted net earnings and adjusted diluted earnings per share to the comparable GAAP measures.
Key Performance Highlights
- Charles Machine Works (CMW) acquisition positions the company as a market leader in underground and specialty construction markets, driving less seasonal net sales growth and creating incremental value for our shareholders. CMW brands, such as Ditch Witch and American Augers, made significant net sales contributions from equipment that enables the installation and replacement of underground infrastructure from natural gas pipelines and high-voltage electric lines to water systems and 5G wireless networks.
- Strong snow and ice management product demand for the fiscal year was led by BOSS® and residential snow throwers for our mass retail and dealer channel partners.
- All season Flex-Force™ lithium-ion battery-powered products, such as snow throwers, walk power mowers and portable power products, had strong introductions in the fiscal year.
- Investments are being made in innovations such as alternative energy, smart-connected products and autonomous technologies designed to enhance productivity and help solve customer challenges such as labor availability.
- Prudent sourcing strategies, productivity and cost improvement initiatives, as well as strategic capital investments and price adjustments, helped to mitigate rising input costs and tariffs for the year.
First Quarter and Fiscal Year 2020 Outlook
“With the first quarter of fiscal 2020 underway, we are encouraged by the retail activity in our professional and residential snow and ice management products. The fundamentals of the business remain strong and we expect to generate higher levels of free cash flow and return value to our shareholders through dividends and share repurchases,” said Olson.
For fiscal 2020, management expects net sales of about $3.6 billion and adjusted EPS in the range of $3.33 to $3.40 per diluted share. For the first quarter, the company expects adjusted EPS of about $0.58 per diluted share. These adjusted diluted EPS estimates exclude the benefit of the excess tax deduction for share-based compensation, acquisition-related costs, and other non-recurring items.
The company expects higher depreciation and amortization as a result of the Charles Machine Works acquisition and are forecasting about $95 million for the year. Capital expenditures are estimated to be about $100 million for the year. We expect an adjusted effective tax rate of about 20.5%.
- Professional segment net sales for fiscal 2019 increased 25.5% to $2,443.4 million from $1,947.0 million last year. For the fourth quarter, professional segment net sales increased 46.9% to $588.2 million from $400.5 million last year. For both periods, the addition of CMW was the main driver of net sales growth. Similarly, strong net sales of BOSS® snow and ice management equipment driven primarily by favorable snowfalls earlier in the year and the successful launch of the stand-on Snowrator® bolstered the results. For the year, net sales increased in the landscape contractor business primarily due to the introduction of the new Staris® stand-on zero-turn riding mower and new lawn solution products from a prior acquisition. The rental and specialty construction portfolio performed well due to the introduction of the Dingo® TXL 2000 compact utility loader and continued channel demand for the Dingo® TX 1000 compact utility loader.
- Professional segment earnings for fiscal 2019 were $380.9 million compared with $399.8 million in the same period last year, largely as a result of the unfavorable impact of purchase accounting adjustments, higher selling, general and administrative expenses, and acquisition and integration expenditures related to the CMW acquisition. Professional segment earnings for the fourth quarter were $61.2 million, essentially flat with the prior-year period.
- Residential segment net sales for fiscal 2019 were up 1.0% to $661.3 million from $654.4 million last year, reflecting higher net sales of snow thrower products due to strong retail demand and new product introductions such as the Power Clear® and Power Max®. Additionally, the Flex-Force™ lithium-ion battery-powered snow throwers and walk power mowers bolstered results for the year. For the fourth quarter, residential segment net sales were up 1.9% to $135.7 million from $133.2 million last year, due to strong snow thrower demand and new product introductions, somewhat offset by weaker demand for zero-turn riding and walk power mowers.
- Residential segment earnings for fiscal 2019 were up 0.5% to $65.2 million from $64.8 million in the comparable period last year. Residential segment earnings for the fourth quarter were up 104.7% to $13.9 million from $6.8 million last year primarily as a result of pricing and productivity as well as lower commodity costs compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018.
Gross margin for fiscal 2019 was 33.4% compared with 35.9% for fiscal 2018, a decrease of 250 basis points, primarily the result of the unfavorable impact of higher commodity and tariff costs and purchase accounting charges associated with the CMW acquisition. For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, gross margin improved to 33.4% from 33.2% in the prior period, driven by pricing and productivity, partially offset by the unfavorable impact of the CMW purchase accounting and acquisition-related charges.
Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expense as a percent of sales for fiscal 2019 increased 130 basis points to 23.0% versus the comparable period last year, reflecting higher incremental expenses related to the CMW acquisition and increased engineering expense for new product development. For the fourth quarter, SG&A expense as a percent of sales was 27.5%, an increase of 230 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2018 primarily a result of the CMW acquisition.
For fiscal 2019, operating earnings as a percent of net sales were 10.4%, compared with 14.2% in fiscal 2018. Operating earnings as a percent of net sales for the fourth quarter were 5.9%, compared with 8.0% in the same period last fiscal year.
Interest expense for fiscal year 2019 increased year over year by $9.7 million to $28.8 million as a result of higher outstanding borrowings to fund the purchase of CMW.
Other income, net, for fiscal 2019 was $25.9 million, an increase of $7.5 million primarily driven by realized gains on actuarial valuation changes for our pension and post-retirement plans and higher income from our proportionate share in the Red Iron joint venture.
The effective tax rate for fiscal 2019 was 14.9%, compared with 27.0% in fiscal 2018. The effective tax rate for the fourth quarter in fiscal 2019 was 12.4% compared with 10.4% for the fourth quarter in fiscal 2018.
Accounts receivable at the end of the fiscal year were $268.8 million, up 39.1% from last fiscal year. Net inventories were $651.7 million, up 81.9% from last fiscal year. Accounts payable were $319.2 million, up 24.4% from the comparable period last fiscal year. The overall increase in working capital at the end of fiscal 2019 was mainly due to the CMW acquisition.
About The Toro Company
The Toro Company (NYSE: TTC) is a leading worldwide provider of innovative solutions for the outdoor environment including turf and landscape maintenance, snow and ice management, underground utility construction, rental and specialty construction, and irrigation and outdoor lighting solutions. With sales of $3.1 billion in fiscal 2019, The Toro Company’s global presence extends to more than 125 countries through a family of brands that includes Toro, Ditch Witch, Exmark, BOSS Snowplow, American Augers, Subsite Electronics, HammerHead, Trencor, Unique Lighting Systems, Irritrol, Hayter, Pope, Lawn-Boy and Radius HDD. Through constant innovation and caring relationships built on trust and integrity, The Toro Company and its family of brands have built a legacy of excellence by helping customers care for golf courses, sports fields, construction sites, public green spaces, commercial and residential properties and agricultural operations. For more information, visit www.thetorocompany.com.
LIVE CONFERENCE CALL
December 18, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. CST
The Toro Company will conduct its earnings call and webcast for investors beginning at approximately 10:00 a.m. CST on December 18, 2019. The webcast will be available at www.streetevents.com or at www.thetorocompany.com/invest. Webcast participants will need to complete a brief registration form and should allocate extra time before the webcast begins to register and, if necessary, download and install audio software.
Use of Non-GAAP Financial Information
This press release and our related earnings call references certain non-GAAP financial measures, which are not calculated or presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP, as information supplemental and in addition to the most directly comparable financial measures calculated and presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP. The non-GAAP financial measures included within this press release and our related earnings call consist of gross profit, operating earnings before income taxes, operating earnings, net earnings, net earnings per diluted share and effective tax rate, each as adjusted, as measures of our operating performance.
The Toro Company uses these non-GAAP financial measures in making operating decisions because we believe these non-GAAP financial measures provide meaningful supplemental information regarding core operational performance and provide us with a better understanding of how to allocate resources to both ongoing and prospective business initiatives. Additionally, these non-GAAP financial measures facilitate our internal comparisons to both our historical operating results and our competitors’ operating results by factoring out potential differences caused by charges not related to our regular ongoing business, including, without limitation, non-cash charges, certain large and unpredictable charges, acquisitions and dispositions, legal settlements, and tax positions. Further, we believe that these non-GAAP financial measures, when considered in conjunction with the financial measures prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP, provide investors with useful supplemental financial information to better understand our core operational performance.
Reconciliations of historical non-GAAP financial measures to the most comparable GAAP financial measures are included in the financial tables contained in this press release. These measures, however, should not be considered superior to, as a substitute for, or as an alternative to, and should be considered in conjunction with, the GAAP financial measures included within this press release and our related earnings call. These non-GAAP financial measures may differ from similar measures used by other companies.
The Toro Company cannot provide quantitative reconciliations of forward-looking non-GAAP diluted EPS guidance to projected GAAP diluted EPS guidance or non-GAAP adjusted effective tax rate guidance to projected GAAP effective tax rate guidance without unreasonable effort because the combined impact and timing of recognition of potential charges or gains is inherently uncertain and difficult to predict. In addition, since any adjustments could have a substantial impact on GAAP measures of financial performance, such quantitative reconciliations would imply a degree of precision and certainty that could be confusing to investors.
This news release contains forward-looking statements, which are being made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current assumptions and expectations of future events, and often can be identified by words such as “expect,” “strive,” “looking ahead,” “outlook,” “guidance,” “forecast,” “goal,” “optimistic,” “anticipate,” “continue,” “plan,” “estimate,” “project,” “believe,” “should,” “could,” “will,” “would,” “possible,” “may,” “likely,” “intend,” “can,” “seek,” “potential,” “pro forma,” or the negative thereof or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results to differ materially from those projected or implied. Particular risks and uncertainties that may affect our operating results or financial position include: worldwide economic conditions, including slow or negative growth rates in global and domestic economies and weakened consumer confidence; disruption at our manufacturing or distribution facilities, including drug cartel-related violence affecting our maquiladora operations in Juarez, Mexico; fluctuations in the cost and availability of commodities, components, parts, and accessories, including steel, engines, hydraulics and resins; the impact of abnormal weather patterns, including unfavorable weather conditions exacerbated by global climate change or otherwise; the impact of natural disasters and global pandemics; the level of growth or contraction in our key markets; customer, government and municipal revenue, budget and spending levels; loss of any substantial customer, including mass retailers and home centers for our residential business; elimination of shelf space for our products at dealers or retailers; inventory adjustments or changes in purchasing patterns by our customers; our ability to develop and achieve market acceptance for new products; increased competition; the risks attendant to international relations, operations and markets, including political, economic and/or social instability and conflict, tax and trade policies in the U.S. and other countries in which we manufacture or sell our products, and implications of the United Kingdom’s process for exiting the European Union; foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations; our relationships with our distribution channel partners, including the financial viability of our distributors and dealers; risks associated with acquisitions, including those related to our recent acquisition of Charles Machine Works, such as delays or failure by us in achieving the net sales, earnings and cost or revenue synergies expected from the acquisition, delays and challenges in integrating the businesses, business disruptions due to the acquisition, impacts as a result of purchase accounting adjustments and unanticipated liabilities or exposures for which we have not been indemnified or may not recover; impairment of goodwill or other intangible assets; delays or failures in implementing, and unanticipated charges, as a result of, restructuring activities; management of our alliances or joint ventures, including Red Iron Acceptance, LLC; the costs and effects of enactment of, changes in and compliance with laws, regulations and standards, including those relating to consumer product safety, accounting, taxation, trade and tariffs, healthcare, and environmental, health and safety matters; unforeseen product quality problems; loss of or changes in executive management or key employees; the occurrence of litigation or claims, including those involving intellectual property or product liability matters; and other risks and uncertainties described in our most recent annual report on Form 10-K, subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We make no commitment to revise or update any forward-looking statements in order to reflect events or circumstances occurring or existing after the date any forward-looking statement is made.
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