April 21, 2017

Stanley in growth mode as it doubles 1Q profits

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
Jim Loree is president and CEO of New Britain-based Stanley Black & Decker Inc.

New Britain tools manufacturer Stanley Black & Decker Inc. on Friday announced it more than doubled its first quarter profits as its top executive described the company's commitment to reinvigorating the Craftsman brand and plans for another potential acquisition in 2018.

Stanley reported first-quarter profits of $393.1 million, or $2.59 a diluted share, compared to $188.6 million, or $1.29 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenues rose 5 percent to $2.8 billion compared to the year prior.

"All businesses came out of the gate strong," said President and CEO James M. Loree, citing a "healthy start" with overall organic growth of 5 percent.

The company closed on both the Newell Brands' tools business and Craftsman Brand from Sears Holdings in March.

"As you heard, Stanley Black & Decker is hitting on all cylinders," Loree said. "We're very excited to drive value within the Newell Tools and Craftsman brands."

The company plans to develop commercial strategies to energize the Craftsman brand in the U.S., Loree said.

"We continue to see a clear path to $100 million a year annual growth for the next decade," he said.

In response to an earnings call question about the strategy for "re-Americanizing Craftsman," Loree said, Stanley already manufactures about 30 percent of all tools sold in the U.S. today.

"Our intent is to increase that in particular with Craftsman," he said. "We're very committed to manufacturing in the U.S."

With the Newell acquisition, new markets are envisioned for the Lenox and Irwin brands, he added. The firm also sold a majority of its mechanical security businesses.

Mergers and acquisitions may slow this year but Loree said in response to another question that a major acquisition in industrial or security business lines could materialize in 2018.

Despite spending $3 billion on Newell Tools and Craftsman, 2017 will be a year of integration, but "the pipeline for M&A is about as robust as we have ever seen it," he said.

The company expects full-year earnings in the range of $7.08 to $7.28 per share due to the impact of its major transactions.

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