M&A activities weigh on SWK Q4 earnings

Stanley Black & Decker's fourth-quarter earnings dropped 89% on a year-ago basis, due in large part to its mergers and acquisitions activities.

"During 2013 we made significant progress driving organic growth throughout the organization and the fourth quarter was no exception as the momentum continued from our organic growth initiatives," said chairman and CEO John Lundgren. "As we move into 2014 it is important to note that our long-term strategy and financial objectives remain intact. We are, however, focused on executing previously announced operating and capital allocation actions to boost returns in the near term. These actions demonstrate our commitment to drive sustainable improvements to the companys cash flow return on investment and drive shareholder value."

Net earnings for the company were $56.1 million for the fourth quarter, down dramatically over last year's $492.1 million in income. Total earnings for 2013 came in at $490.3 million, nearly half of 2012's $883.8 million.

Net sales for the quarter came in at $2.91 billion, up 9% over last year. Similarly, full-year revenues increased 8% to $11.0 billion.

SVP and CFO Donald Allan Jr. added that Stanley's 2014 outlook would see a significant reduction in M&A charges, with an organic growth rate of approximately 4%.

"In addition to continuing to drive organic growth and improving security margins, enhancing our operating leverage is a key priority for 2014," said Allan. "The financial drag from the growth investments made in 2013 is mostly behind us and we will tightly manage SG&A expenses."

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