Toro Expects First Quarter Earnings Per Diluted Share of $0.52 to $0.54 Will Exceed Its Estimates

BLOOMINGTON, Minn., Feb 12, 2003 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ --

First Quarter to Benefit from One-Time Gain of $0.16 Per Diluted Share On Legal Settlement

The Toro Company (NYSE: TTC) today said it currently expects to report net earnings per diluted share of $0.52 to $0.54 for its fiscal first quarter ended January 31, 2003. The company had previously indicated it expected earnings per diluted share for the period, typically its seasonally slowest quarter, to range from $0.10 to $0.15.

Kendrick B. Melrose, The Toro Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said "the company's strong first quarter performance results from several factors, including: higher than expected sales in both our residential and professional segments due primarily to increased shipments of walk power mowers; a better than expected revenue rebound in our landscape contractor and irrigation businesses; and an increase in gross margin resulting from the company's "Five by 5" profit improvement strategies. In addition, the company's first quarter results will include a one-time gain of $0.16 per diluted share, resulting from a legal settlement."

"Our ongoing work to strengthen our business is benefiting our operating performance even in the face of economic and geopolitical conditions that remain uncertain," said Melrose. "Thanks to our successful execution of several key business strategies, we are starting the new fiscal year with stronger-than-expected performance that we believe we can sustain for the full year."

Toro plans to report its results for its fiscal first quarter on February 25, 2003, and will provide further information on its outlook for the full year at that time. The company will conduct a conference call to discuss its first quarter results at 10:00 a.m. Central Time on February 25. A live webcast and replay of the conference call will be available at .

The Toro Company is a leading worldwide provider of outdoor maintenance and beautification products for home, recreation and commercial landscapes.

Safe Harbor

Statements made in this news release, which are forward-looking, are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. These uncertainties include factors that affect all businesses operating in a global market as well as matters specific to Toro. Particular risks and uncertainties facing the company's overall financial position at the present include the threat of further terrorist acts and war, which may result in contraction of the U.S. and worldwide economies; continued slowing of growth in global and domestic economies, resulting in rising unemployment and weakened consumer confidence; our ability to achieve goals of the "5 by Five" profit improvement program, which is intended to improve our after-tax return on sales; the company's ability to achieve sales growth and low double-digit diluted earnings per share growth in fiscal 2003; unforeseen product quality problems in the development and production of new and existing products; potential issues with opening new production facilities and moving production between facilities; continued slow growth rate in new golf course construction or existing golf course renovations; increased dependence on The Home Depot as a customer for the residential segment; reduced government spending for grounds maintenance equipment due to reduced tax revenue and tighter government budgets; elimination of shelf space for our products at retailers; changes in raw material costs, including higher oil prices; financial viability of distributors and dealers; market acceptance of existing and new products; and increased and adverse changes in currency exchange rates or raw material commodity prices and the costs we incur in providing price support to international customers and suppliers. In addition to the factors set forth in this paragraph, market, economic, financial, competitive, weather, production and other factors identified in Toro's quarterly and annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could affect the forward- looking statements in this press release. Toro undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements made in this release to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this statement.

SOURCE The Toro Company

CONTACT:          Investor Relations, Stephen P. Wolfe, Vice President, CFO,
                  +1-952-887-8076, Stephen D. Keating, Director, Investor Relations,
                  +1-952-887-8526, or Media Relations, Shelley Benedict, Toro Media Relations,
                  +1-952-887-8930, , all of The Toro Company
                  /Company News On-Call: 

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Our Company

At The Toro Company, we take great pride in helping our customers enrich the beauty, productivity, and sustainability of the land. Founded in 1914, The Toro Company was built on a tradition of quality and caring relationships. Today, the company is a leading worldwide provider of innovative solutions for the outdoor environment including turf maintenance, snow and ice management, landscape, rental and specialty construction equipment, and irrigation and outdoor lighting solutions. Through a strong network of professional distributors, dealers and retailers in more than 125 countries, we proudly offer a wide range of products across a family of global brands to help golf courses, professional contractors, groundskeepers, agricultural growers, rental companies, government and educational institutions, and homeowners – in addition to many leading sports venues and historic sites around the world.