Black & Decker loses 22% in Q4 over acquisition costs

  • Black & Decker employs 1,500 people in Maryland. Most of them work at the campus that includes its headquarters, above, off Joppa Road in Towson.
Black & Decker employs 1,500 people in Maryland. Most of… (Baltimore Sun photo by Algerina…)
February 03, 2010|By Andrea K. Walker | andrea.walker@baltsun.com

Power tool maker Black & Decker reported a 22 percent quarterly earnings loss Wednesday because of expenses related to its $4.5 billion acquisition by Stanley Works.

But the Towson-based company said that it has started to see some improvement as the economy in some of its markets have begun to recover.

Earnings for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 were $33.9 million, or 55 cents per share, compared to $43.7 million, or 72 cents per share, for the same period a year ago.

The earnings reflect $58.8 million in expenses related to the deal with Stanley Works – which is expected to close in the first half of the year – and a $20.8 million pretax structuring charge in 2008. The Stanley-related expenses included employee cost related to the change in control and legal and advisory fees.

Earnings would have been $1.24 per share taking out those expenses.

Shareholders from both companies will vote on the transaction in special meetings to be held Mar. 12.

Sales fell 6 percent to $1.3 billion for the fourth quarter.

Despite the losses, the company said earnings were better than expected in a sign that the economy may be picking up some. The company had expected to earn in the range of 68 cents to 78 cents per share.

The company said it hopes to take advantage of the improving economy with new products in areas such as lawn and garden. But company officials said they are remaining cautious because some sectors, including commercial construction in the United States, are still struggling. Black & Decker expects a mid-single digit sales increase in the fourth quarter.

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