Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE:SWK) saw its fourth-quarter earnings increase sharply amid strong construction and do-it-yourself sales.
Net sales climbed 4% to $2.67 billion, driving a profit of $492.1 million, or $2.99 a share, that topped $164 million and per-share earnings of 98 cents a year earlier. Excluding merger and acquisition charges and other items, adjusted earnings rose to $1.37 a share from $1.22.
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The company last month projected adjusted per-share earnings of $1.28. Analysts had anticipated sales of $2.62 billion.
“The close of 2012 marked a transformational year for the company as we continued our successful evolution into a diversified global industrial enterprise well-positioned for long-term value creation,” Stanley Black & Decker's chief executive John F. Lundgren said in a statement.
Sales in Stanley Black & Decker’s largest segment, construction and do-it-yourself offerings, rose 8.3%. Its industrial segment reported a sales increase of 1.5%, while sales in the security segment declined 1.7%.
For 2013, the company said it expects adjusted earnings of $5.40 to $5.65 a share, below analysts’ forecast of $5.69 a share. Stanley Black & Decker added that it foresees a continuation of the modest growth in U.S. housing, which should help offset slowly recovering security and industrial end markets.
Stanley Black & Decker, which was created after the 2010 merger of Stanley Works and Black & Decker, has suffered in recent quarters from integration costs. It announced plans to cut jobs and suspend acquisition activity to focus on the company’s growth.
“The success of the Black & Decker merger further validates our Company's acquisition integration capabilities. Looking forward, we are confident in our ability to adapt and apply our expertise and specialized skills in this area to fuel organic growth initiatives,” Lundgren added.
The New Britain, Conn.-based company sold its hardware and home improvement group last month for $1.4 billion to Spectrum Brands Holdings (NYSE:SPB). It earlier agreed to acquire Hong Kong’s Infastech, a fastener manufacturer, for $850 million.
Shares of Stanley Black & Decker were down 47 cents to $77.49 a share Thursday morning.