The Toro Co., which makes lawnmowers and other outdoor maintenance gear, said Thursday that its first-quarter profit rose on cost-cutting, and it offered a better-than-expected outlook for the full year.

The latest earnings topped Wall Street estimates, and its shares rose almost 3 percent.

Sales to businesses fell in the three months ended Jan. 29 but residential sales rose due to strong orders for irrigation products in Australia and more worldwide shipments of snow-throwers.

Toro said it earned $10.9 million, or 32 cents per share, in its fiscal first quarter, up from $6.7 million, or 18 cents per share, a year earlier, when it took restructuring charges.

Sales slipped to $331.4 million from $340.2 million.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 21 cents a share on higher revenue of $337.3 million. The earnings estimates typically exclude one-time items.

"Even with a slight decline in net sales, the leaner cost structure we put in place last year helped improve our profitability," said Michael J. Hoffman, Toro's chairman and chief executive.

The Bloomington company said it expects earnings of $1.15 per share in the current quarter, and $2.15 for the fiscal year that ends in October, with flat full-year sales.

Analysts expected $1.14 per share in the current quarter and $2.06 per share for the fiscal year.

Toro shares rose $1.22, or 2.8 percent, to $44.63 in afternoon trading after rising to a 52-week high of $44.71 earlier in the session.