Toro sees stronger earnings in the first quarter
Outdoor products company Toro reported stronger earnings in the first quarter, buoyed by a strong increase in professional segment sales and international demand.
Earnings rose less than 1 percent to $18.63 million from $18.45 million last year. Sales were up 7 percent to $405.8 million, from $379.1 million in the same period last year.
Sales and earnings rose in the company’s professional segment, “including a strong demand from golf and grounds equipment customers,” the company said.
The company’s residential segment also saw increases, primarily from strong sales of snowthrowers and “TimeCutter” zero-turning radius lawnmowers.
The growth was attributed to “strong contributions from our international business,” said Michael Hoffman, chairman and CEO of Toro. “While we’re concerned about the increasing domestic economic uncertainty, we believe our competitive position is strong, and we are well-positioned for the upcoming season,” he said.
Toro is based in Bloomington, Minn. The company manufactures outdoor maintenance and beautification products for home, recreation and commercial landscapes.
KB Home to pull out of certain U.S. markets
Los Angeles-based home builder KB Home will be pulling out of Albuquerque, Chicago and the mid-Atlantic markets, according to a report by the Associated Press.
The company said that current conditions in the housing market are too difficult and has decided not to build any homes in those areas for now.
AKB Home spokesperson told the AP that the pullout would be gradual, as the company plans to complete its current projects and will still honor warranties on homes it has already built.
The company reported a net loss of $929 million for 2007 with revenues of $6.4 billion, down 31.6 percent from 2006.
Candleholders recalled at Pier 1
Pier 1 Imports has announced a voluntary recall of some candleholders that have been said to cause a fire hazard, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
According to the Commission, the candleholders can heat up and cause the tealights to burn unexpectedly fast and with a higher flame height than normal, posing a fire hazard. The items were manufactured in China.
Fort Worth, Texas-based Pier 1 Imports has received seven reports of high flames. No injuries have been reported.
About 18,000 units were sold at Pier 1 Imports stores nationwide from June 2007 through December 2007 for $6 to $25.