Toro Co. ( TTC ) hit a new 52-week high of $65.31 during intraday trading before closing at $63.89 on Jan 15. The Bloomington, Minn.-based worldwide provider of turf and landscape maintenance equipment and irrigation solutions is trading at an all-time high. The stock has delivered a one-year return of about 48.01%, outperforming the S&P 500.
Over the past 52 weeks, Toro's share price has ranged from a 52-week low of $42.69 on Jan 28, 2013 to a 52-week high on Jan 15, 2014. Average volume of shares traded over the last three months is approximately 168K.
What's Driving Toro Upward?
Toro's shares have been on the rise following its strong fourth quarter and record fiscal 2013 results that were declared on Dec 6. Toro posted earnings of 8 cents per share in the quarter against break-even results in the prior-year period, benefiting from an improved market demand and favorable commodity prices.
Fiscal 2013 was a record year for Toro in terms of revenues, operating earnings and earnings per share. The company posted earnings of $2.62 per share for fiscal 2013, up 22.4% from the year-ago earnings of $2.14. This was driven by the introduction of the Tier 4 diesel engine transition and acquisitions in the rental and construction markets.
Earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for both the fourth quarter and fiscal 2013. In fact, the company delivered consecutive earnings beat in the last four quarters, averaging a surprise of 84.70%.
Toro expects revenues to grow about 4%-5% in fiscal 2014. Net earnings for the year will be in the range of $2.85-$2.90 per share. This will be driven by the introduction of innovative products and services, continued focus on returning value to shareholders and acquisition opportunities to drive profitable growth.
For the first quarter of 2014, Toro expects net earnings to be about 35 cents per share. According to the company, golf course development is progressing, housing and construction continues to improve and customers around the world are seeking more efficient methods of irrigation.
Furthermore, Toro is well positioned to benefit from the recent investments in micro irrigation business; thus facilitating the expansion of its global footprint. Rental and construction market presence are also yielding positive results and will continue to gain momentum.
Other Stocks to Consider
Toro currently carries a short-term Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the same sector include Kubota Corp. ( KUBTY ) Terex Corp. ( TEX ) and Columbus McKinnon Corporation ( CMCO ). While Kubota and Terex have a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Columbus McKinnon carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).