Black & Decker profits climb 25 percent in 3rd quarter


Fueled by sales of its power tools, Towson-based Black & Decker Corp. reported yesterday that profits rose 25 percent last quarter compared with a year earlier.

The company reported earnings of $140.6 million, or $1.73 a diluted share, for the quarter that ended Oct. 2. That compared with profit of $112.5 million, or $1.37 a share, for the comparable quarter last year.

Per-share earnings beat analysts' estimate of $1.67 a share for the quarter.

Still, Black & Decker stock closed down $1.83, or 2.4 percent, to $76.18 on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday.

"All three of our segments increased sales for the eighth consecutive quarter and posted double-digit rates of growth in operating profits," Nolan D. Archibald, Black & Decker's chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "Despite facing continued raw material inflation and challenging comparisons to prior-year results, we extended our track record of outstanding performance."

Sales of power tools and accessories, one of three units for the nation's biggest toolmaker, were up 31 percent. Sales in the hardware and home improvement unit and in the fastening and assembly systems segment were up 1 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

Net earnings from continuing operations for the third quarter rose to a record $140.3 million, compared with $111.3 million for the third quarter last year, the company said. Profit per share from continuing operations rose 28 percent to $1.73 - the 14th consecutive quarter of growth at or above 18 percent, Black & Decker said.

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