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It ought to make a Fool wonder how long Wall Street's whiz kids are going to be snowed by what's beginning to look like serial lowballing by Toro's management. Recall that last quarter, the firm provided forward guidance for 23% growth even as it was reporting a surprise, record earnings, boosted by trim operations.
Will today's predictions for full-year earnings growth of 24% prove that Toro's management is sandbagging? I wouldn't bet against it. Though gross margins had a slight drop this quarter -- blamed on commodity prices -- a quick check of the firm's breakdown shows that the segment of quickest revenue growth, professional products, carries an operating margin about 7% better than the residential products biz. Toro's oversized professional sales experience mirrors recent developments at Deere
Factor in share buybacks, reductions in operating expenses, and lower interest payments, and the odds are Toro will overdeliver for the foreseeable future, even with tough competition from the likes of Deere and Honda
Though shares took a 4% cut today, the company's impressive performance this year has been recognized in the stock's steady rise over the past 12 months. With clean balance sheets and a near 20% return on equity (as well as amusing management), Toro looks like a safe bet, even when the stock appears fully valued.
All that free cash flow and a paltry 0.4% dividend yield? Et tu, Toro? Mathew Emmert can help you find better dividends.