Toro to acquire BOSS snow and ice business
The Toro Company has agreed to acquire the BOSS professional snow and ice management business of Northern Star Industries, Inc. for $227 million.
According to Toro chairman and CEO Michael Hoffman, the deal strengthens Toro's stake in the professional contractor market owing to BOSS's high-quality equipment and service.
“We’ve long been interested in the professional snow and ice management category," he said. "We are impressed with BOSS’ solid business performance and we are optimistic about the opportunities for growth through product line expansion and in international markets.”
Iron Mountain, Michigan-based BOSS is a manufacturer of snowplows, salt and sand spreaders, and various other parts and accessories for trucks, ATVs, UTVs and loaders.
“Through this acquisition, we will gain another strong professional contractor brand, a portfolio of reliable counter-seasonal equipment, efficient manufacturing operations and a well-established and broad North American distribution channel for these products,” added Hoffman. “In addition, BOSS brings a talented and experienced management team, a passionate and dedicated team of employees and a culture of innovation and customer service that is similar to our own.”
On BOSS's part, the acquisition provides the company with a stable foundation for future growth, a similar culture and an impressive reputation, says BOSS president David Brule II.
"As a privately-held business in a smaller community, it is essential to us that BOSS transition to a company that not only is well-positioned to take us to the next level but also shares our commitment to innovation, customers, employees and the communities in which we live and work," he said.
2014 sales for BOSS are projected to hit approximately $125 million. The transaction is expected to close during Toro's fiscal 2015 first quarter, subject to customary closing conditions. Toro expects the deal to be slightly accretive to fiscal 2015 earnings.
Tractor Supply touches down in Utah
In the next leg of its Western expansion initiative, Tractor Supply Company is opening up its first store in Utah.
"Utah represents the 49th state of operation for Tractor Supply and we believe this new market will be a great addition to our expanding store base," said Greg Sandfort, president and CEO. "We remain pleased with the performance of our western stores and are confident in our ability to continue to strategically grow in this region."
The store will be located at 1635 West 1100 South in Perry City and was officially open for business as of Oct. 25. It boasts 21,930 sq. ft. of space and is currently staffed by 15 employees.
"Our store team members are ready and able to provide Tractor Supply customers in the Perry City and surrounding communities with seasoned advice and exceptional service," said Lee Downing, EVP Store Operations and Real Estate. "We look forward to operating in Utah and providing a great one-stop shopping experience that our customers can depend on for the care and maintenance of their home, land, pets and animals."
With this latest addition, Tractor Supply's total store count now stands at over 1,360 stores in 49 states, employing more than 19,000 across the country.
A grand opening event will be held Saturday, Nov. 1 at the Perry City location.
Plum Creek reports conservative outlook in Q3
Though Plum Creek Timber Company reported modest sales gains in the third quarter of 2014, the company’s outlook for future growth is tempered by a conservative (and realistic) forecast for housing starts, according to the building products supplier.
Housing starts are expected to increase by only 8% in 2014, leading the company to place residential construction activity at a growth rate of about 10% in 2015.
“With residential construction growth continuing at a slow pace, we are planning to operate conservatively during the balance of 2014 and into 2015,” said CEO Rick Holley. “Our long standing goal of maximizing the net present value of our harvest means we plan to maintain our current harvest level until Southern sawlog prices improve.”
As such, the company is positioning its fourth quarter earnings between $0.29 and $0.39 per share, with full-year 2014 net income between $1.10 and $1.20 per share.
Meanwhile, net revenues for the third quarter came in at $375 million, up from $366 million in the same period last year.
Earnings for the third quarter totaled $61 million, which included a $3 million after-tax gain from insurance recoveries from the Montana MDF plant fire. This is down from 2013’s net earnings of $72 million.
“During the third quarter, Plum Creek performed well in a continuing slow-growth environment,” said Holley. “Strong timber markets in our Northern Resources segment, combined with incremental harvest from the timberlands acquired last December, resulted in good operating income growth from our timber resources segments. Our Manufacturing operations are producing another strong year of performance while our Energy and Natural Resources segment is contributing to earnings and cash flow growth as well."