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Stanley Black & Decker, Newell Rubbermaid gain ground in Q4


Stanley Black & Decker and Newell Rubbermaid reported modest but steady growth in the fourth quarter, results that position both companies on solid ground going forward.

At Stanley Black and Decker, net sales for the fourth quarter came in at $2.98 billion, up from $2.88 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013. This was mainly due to increases in volume and price, but partially offset by currency. In terms of net income, the company pulled in $145.8 million, up considerably from last year's $56.1 million.

“We were very pleased with our performance in the fourth quarter and for the full year," said chairman and CEO John Lundgren. "Our commitment to well balanced capital allocation priorities combined with our focus on key operational levers produced favorable organic growth, operating leverage and free cash flow results despite adverse currency and volatile macro environments."

For the full year, Stanley Black & Decker pulled in net sales of $11.34 billion, compared to $10.89 billion in 2013. Net income was $760.9 million, several steps ahead of 2013's $490.3 million.

“As we look to 2015, we continue to enjoy strong operating momentum amidst similar operating conditions and, as a consequence, are well positioned to manage through another challenging environment," added Lundgren. "Our long-term strategy and financial objectives remain intact, and we are confident in our ability to continue to generate strong underlying organic revenue, earnings and cash flow growth while producing meaningful returns for shareholders.”

Newell Rubbermaid pointed to core sales growth of 3.3% in the fourth quarter of 2014.

"Core sales grew 3.3%, or nearly 4% when adjusted for timing shifts related to SAP implementation and our third quarter distribution center transition," said president and CEO Michael Polk. "Our Win Bigger businesses grew core sales 6.4% in response to strengthened innovation and increased marketing investment, while our Baby core sales returned to growth despite continued exits in Europe. We have simultaneously made very good progress on margins which, when coupled with our topline performance, resulted in fourth quarter earnings ahead of consensus and full year normalized EPS growth of nearly 10%."

Net sales for the three-month period ended Dec. 31 were $1.53 billion, up 4.1% from $1.47 billion during the same period last year. Newell Rubbermaid pulled off net income of $52.0 million last quarter, down from $117.3 million last year.

For the full-year period, the company made net sales of $5.73 billion, up 2.1% year-over-year. Net income came in at $377.8 million, compared to $474.6 million in 2013. Despite the back-tracking in the company's bottom line, Polk said that the progress within the Win Bigger and Baby segments has led Newell Rubbermaid to raise its full-year guidance on core sales growth to 3.5% to 4.5%.

"Our growth momentum is building driven by a terrific pipeline of new innovations, our plans to increase marketing investment again, and the sustained strong performance of our recent acquisitions," he said. "While deteriorating foreign exchange rates have caused us to moderate our normalized earnings per share guidance for 2015 to $2.10 to $2.18, at the mid-point of the range our revised outlook represents high single digit earnings growth and strong double-digit growth on a currency neutral basis."

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