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Toro fiscal 1Q net income jumps 58 pct

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) -- Toro Co. said Thursday its fiscal first-quarter net income jumped 58 percent, helped by strong demand for certain kinds of landscaping and irrigation equipment.

Toro, which also makes lawn mowers, snow throwers and outdoor lighting, earned $31.4 million, or 53 cents per share , for the quarter ended Feb. 1. That compares with $19.9 million, or 33 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Toro's earnings per share figures account for a 2-for-1 stock split that took effect in June.

Revenue rose 5 percent to $444.7 million from $423.8 million.

The profit easily beat Wall Street predictions, while the revenue fell short. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 43 cents per share on $458.5 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Sales of professional equipment jumped 16 percent to $329.1 million on strong domestic demand for large turf equipment and micro-irrigation systems. But residential sales fell 12 percent to $120.9 million, hurt by a drop in demand for snow throwers stemming from lower-than-expected snowfalls in North America.

The company projected a second-quarter profit of about $1.20 per share, while analysts expect earnings of $1.17 per share.

Toro boosted its full-year profit prediction by 5 cents per share to a range of about $2.40 to $2.45 per share, but said it still expects revenue growth of between 4 percent and 5 percent. Based on the company's 2013 results, that implies 2013 revenue of $2.04 billion to $2.06 billion.

Analysts expect a 2013 profit of $2.44 per share on $2.06 billion in revenue.

Shares of Bloomington, Minn.-based Toro fell 22 cents to $45.02 in morning trading.