Stanley Works Earnings Rise 53 Percent

Third-quarter net income rose 53 percent at The Stanley Works as sales increased 19 percent over the same quarter a year ago when the tool manufacturer absorbed restructuring charges.

The tool maker boosted its 2004 earnings forecast Monday and also said it expects double-digit percentage growth in 2005 net income.

The New Britain-based company on reported third-quarter earnings of $63.9 million, or 76 cents a share, above its previous forecast of 70 cents and a Thomson First Call average analyst estimate of 71 cents.

A year ago, Stanley Works reported net income of $41.7 million, or 51 cents a share, which also included a gain of 5 cents a share from discontinued operations and charges totaling 14 cents a share.

Sales for the quarter rose $791.2 million from $665.6 million a year ago.

For the fourth quarter, Stanley Works expects to post earnings of 70 cents a share, excluding charges. Analysts surveyed by First Call have on average been expecting earnings of 72 cents a share.

Stanley Works also said it had agreed to sell its Home Decor unit to Wellspring Capital Management LLC, a private equity investment firm.

After-tax net proceeds from the deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, will be $65 million.

John F. Lundgren, chairman and executive chief, said both transactions are important steps to shift capital to expand the Tools and Security Solutions businesses, which provide higher than average growth and returns.

Shares of Stanley Works sold at $43.78, up $2.76, in early morning trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.