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The Toro Company - A Value Report

Dec. 27, 2020 8:01 AM ETThe Toro Company (TTC)
Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.


  • The stock is just overpriced. No way else to put it.

This report is about The Toro Company and covers the company’s fiscal year ended October 31, 2020. Listed earnings and metrics utilizing earnings, are for that specific 12 month time period unless otherwise noted. Unaudited or reviewed financial information is not apart of, nor included in, this report.

What They Do

The Toro Company designs, manufactures and markets consumer and professional turf maintenance equipment, snow removal products and irrigation systems and provides landscaping and turf maintenance services. Industry peers include Deere and Company (NYSE: DE) and MTD Products, Inc. (private).

Short-Term Target

My current short-term target for the stock is $88.55 with an initial trailing stop set at $92.49. Based on a recent price of $93.90, upward price movement will find resistance at $94.61 and again at $98.18. Downward price movement will find support at $89.08 and again at $87.15, with final support found at $84.76.

One-Year Growth Price Target

My one year growth price target is actually a price target range, determined by adding year over year earning growth to the prior year annual dividend yield and dividing the result by the current annual price to earnings ratio.

For this stock, my current one year growth price target range is $96-$116.

Volatility Adjustment

There are different metrics available to help investors determine the volatility of a particular stock as compared to the volatility of the market as a whole. To me, the beta ratio is the metric that is the most representative of a stock’s volatility. A beta ratio of less than 1 means that the security’s price will be less volatile than the market, while a beta ratio greater than 1 indicates that the security’s price will be more volatile than the market.

Basis my current beta ratio for this stock of 0.73, my volatility adjustment to recent pricing is $35 per share, making my current volatility adjusted price $129.

Quality of Earnings

A company’s earnings can be impacted by a variety of sources unrelated to the company’s current day to day operations. Discontinued operations, tax refunds, depreciation, and impairment for example, may distort a company’s operating income and consequently its fair value. Investors should always explore the sources of a company’s operating income to better understand potential valuation impacts.

Of the company’s $2.39 in fiscal 2020 per share earnings, $0.13 came from some combination of other sources, income taxes, interest, minority interests, or discontinued operations.

Key Performance Indicator Rating

I use key performance indicators (KPIs) as a barometer to measure the effectiveness of management. Several of the metrics that I use are the tangible asset ratio, return on invested capital, free cash flow growth, earnings growth, debt growth, the dividend payout ratio, and the cash conversion cycle. Admittedly, my use of these and other metrics as a way to determine the effectiveness of management is subjective. Based on a 0-105 scale, my KPI for this company is 61.

Annual Shareholder Return

I calculate annual shareholder return by subtracting the stock price at the close of business on the last day of a company’s fiscal year, from the stock price at the start of business on the first day of the company’s fiscal year, plus any dividends paid during that period, and then dividing the result by the opening stock price on the first day of a company’s fiscal year.

For fiscal 2020, the company spent $0.00 per share buying back company stock, paid a common stock dividend of $1.00 per share, and had year-over-year annual price appreciation of $5.36, which created a year-over-year annual shareholder return of 8%.

Over the prior five year period, the company spent an average of $1.24 per share buying back company stock, paid an average annual common stock dividend of $0.81 per share, and had average annual price appreciation of $9.18, which created an average annual shareholder return of 23%.

Cost of Common Equity

The cost of common equity is the minimum annual rate of return an investor should expect to earn when investing in shares of a particular company. I calculate this by adding the thirty-year treasury yield to the beta ratio for the stock multiplied by my default equity risk premium.

My cost of common equity for this stock is 3.85%.

Acquisitions Expenditures

During fiscal 2020, the company spent $138 million acquiring businesses, a 405% year over year decrease. Over the past five years, the company has spent $951 million acquiring businesses.

The Year-Over-Year Numbers

There are many year-over-year numbers for investors to focus on. But to me, there are only a handful that have any significant meaning, and so those are the numbers that I highlight in this space. Please remember these are year-over-year numbers.

For fiscal 2020, revenue increased 8%, earnings increased 26%, free cash flow increased 36%, and debt decreased by 25%. Additionally, the company’s annual operating rate, which I calculate by adding operating expenses to the cost of goods sold and dividing the result by net sales, was 88.

Current Price Ratios

Investing requires effort. Value investing requires patience. Stock prices require consideration. As a way to screen a company to determine if it is worth my effort, patience and consideration, I use several price comparison ratios.

For this company, my Price to Earnings Ratio is 32, my Price to Book Ratio is 9, my Price to Tangible Book Value is 36, my Price to Debt Ratio is 12, my Price to Free Cash Flow Ratio is 42, and my Return on Invested Capital is 39.5%.

Risk/Reward Ratio

I determine my risk reward ratio by subtracting my current terminate target from a recent price and then dividing that result by my initiate target less a price fluctuation variable of 20%. What I am looking for with this ratio is a value of 5 or greater. My risk/reward ratio for this stock is (4.5).

Prior Five Year Averages

My average valuation for the prior five year fiscal period was $45. The stock price during that time period averaged $56, earnings averaged $2.51 per share, and the average PE Ratio was 22.

Fair Value Investing

It is important to remember that the current market price of an equity is the price negotiated between a willing buyer and a willing seller. This market price is not the fair value of the associated company, but the negotiated price of a single equity trade.

The basic investing tenet for a fair value investor is price determines return. As such it is important to have some understanding of the value of the company as an on-going concern, and to develop a strategy that, with current value in mind, will allow investment in that company at some reasonable discount to current pricing.

My most recent fair value estimate for the stock of this company as an on-going concern is $42. This estimated fair value forms the basis for my target prices as shown on my worksheet.

The Toro Company (NYSE: TTC) – FYE 10/2020 – OVER VALUED – The stock is currently trading at levels above my most recent $68 terminate target. Please See Linked PDF Worksheet.

My Disclaimer

I am a long-term, buy and hold investor, practicing a value investing philosophy. I am not a licensed or registered investment professional. I currently have NO investment position in the company mentioned in this report. Financial statement data was obtained from the company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K.


Past and future gains contained herein are based on actual and anticipated earnings, actual and anticipated dividends, and actual and anticipated price appreciation. Valuations, while given as a specific amount, are always within a valuation range. Investors should be aware that any investment has the potential for loss, and past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Thanx for reading.

WaxRevised on 12/27/2020

Analyst's Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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