Toro Co. (NYSE: TTC)shares rose 6.5 percent on Thursday after the lawnmower and sprinkler maker reported stronger than expected second-quarter profit on international sales and higher margins.

Net income for its fiscal second quarter ended May 4 jumped nearly 7 percent to $75 million, or $1.77 per share, up from $70.1 million or $1.56 in the same quarter last year.

Sales rose 4.2 percent to $686.7 million from $659 million last year, driven by strong international sales, which grew 12.2 percent to $188.9 million.

A survey of four analysts by Thomson Financial produced a consensus estimate of $1.69 a share.

Second quarter gross margin benefited from cost reductions and productivity and efficiency, the company said. The year-to-date gross margin improved to 36.1 percent from 35.2 percent in the first half of fiscal 2006.

We also saw revenue growth and strong demand in our Residential segment and worldwide golf, said Michael J. Hoffman, Toro's chairman and chief executive officer.

The Bloomington, Minnesota-based company expects profits in its 2007 fiscal year to grow between 11 percent to 14 percent.

Shares of The Toro Co. rose $3.53, or 6.49 percent, to close at $57.95 on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.