Toro Co. (NYSE:TTC) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest during the month of September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 3,492,890 shares, an increase of 69.5% from the September 15th total of 2,060,809 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 853,609 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 4.1 days. Currently, 3.3% of the shares of the company are sold short.

Toro (NYSE:TTC) opened at 47.21 on Tuesday. Toro has a 52 week low of $32.35 and a 52 week high of $49.50. The firm has a market cap of $5.16 billion, a PE ratio of 23.65 and a beta of 0.49. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $47.40 and a 200-day moving average of $45.37.

Toro (NYSE:TTC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 18th. The company reported $1.00 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.01. Toro had a net margin of 9.33% and a return on equity of 43.50%. The company had revenue of $601 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $623.79 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.94 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Toro will post $2.01 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 14th. Stockholders of record on Monday, October 3rd were issued a $0.15 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 29th. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.27%. Toro’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 29.93%.

Several equities analysts recently commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Toro from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 23rd. Northcoast Research reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Toro in a research note on Thursday, June 30th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of C$45.67.

In related news, VP William E. Brown, Jr. sold 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of C$98.34, for a total transaction of C$590,040.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 93,469 shares in the company, valued at approximately C$9,191,741.46. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 5.94% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Ngam Advisors L.P. increased its stake in Toro by 3.2% in the first quarter. Ngam Advisors L.P. now owns 16,623 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,432,000 after buying an additional 521 shares during the period. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Toro by 10.7% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 193,531 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,667,000 after buying an additional 18,642 shares during the period. Teachers Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Toro by 87.7% in the first quarter. Teachers Advisors Inc. now owns 77,119 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,641,000 after buying an additional 36,038 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. increased its stake in Toro by 10.3% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 171,772 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,793,000 after buying an additional 16,100 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Toro by 5.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 41,641 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,586,000 after buying an additional 1,997 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 38.38% of the company’s stock.

About Toro

The Toro Company designs, manufactures and markets professional turf maintenance equipment and services, turf irrigation systems, landscaping equipment and lighting, agricultural micro-irrigation systems, rental and specialty construction equipment, and residential yard and snow thrower products. The Company operates through three segments: Professional, Residential and Distribution.

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