Will Stanley Black & Decker Maintain Its Resilience?

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Stanley Black & Decker (NYS: SWK) reported a year-over-year 25% jump in third-quarter net income, to $154.6 million, significantly affected by higher sales in its international operations. Let's take a closer look at the numbers to see what's up with Stanley.

Drilling into the numbers
Stanley's revenues rose by 11%, to $2.6 billion, thanks to fast-growing revenues in emerging markets. Selling general and administration charges also increased, but at a slightly lower 9%, to $622.8million.

Stanley has improved its gross margins to a little over 37% and net income margins rose to 5.9%, from 5.2% in the year-ago quarter. This is good news, in my opinion, as it occurred in spite of weak economic growth.

The construction and do-it-yourself division, the company's largest, witnessed double-digit unit volume growth in the Asian and Latin American markets. Sales increased by 5.6%, to $1.3 billion, while profits rose by 7%, to $170 million. The security division saw a 17% jump in sales, mainly driven by acquisition growth, price increases, and favorable currency movements. Profits for this segment increased by an impressive 25.5%, to $109.5 million. The industrial segment saw similarly impressive sales growth of 19%, to $105.8 million.

U.S. and European revenues drag
Geographically, the U.S., which accounts for more than 55% of revenues, showed relatively flat organic growth of 3%. The same can be said about Europe, which forms 23% of revenues. On the bright side, Asia and Latin America showed strong organic growth -- 9% and 23%, respectively. Revenues from Australia fell by 8%; thankfully it constitutes just 1% of total revenue.

Taking advantage of its large pile of cash, Stanley recently bought back $350 million of its own common stock -- $100 million more than previously planned. This suggests that management is quite confident about future performance.

Spreading its wings
In early September, the company announced it had completed the acquisition of Niscayah, an electronic security solutions company for a sum of $1.2 billion. The acquisition will expand the company's product portfolio. The deal also is expected to result in annual cost savings of about $80 million.

Powering ahead
Year-to-date, U.S. machine-tool-related technology orders have increased a whopping 101% ahead of this time last year. So, despite the economic hangover, the manufacturing technology industry is actually sustaining a good deal of momentum. This trend is apparent in the case of peers such as Snap-on (NYS: SNA) and P&F Industries (NAS: PFIN) , whose revenues have generally increased over the past few quarters.

The Foolish bottom line
Stanley seems well-positioned to drive growth in the future. While economic uncertainty in the U.S. and the eurozone leaves me with a feeling of reluctance for the next few months for machine tool companies like Stanley, I am cautiously optimistic about the company's resilience and profitability in the long run, particularly due to the synergies it stands to gain from its acquisitions.  

At the time this article was published Keki Fatakia does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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