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Stanley completes Infastech acquisition

BY Ken Clark

Stanley Black & Decker said it successfully completed its acquisition of Infastech, a global manufacturer and distributor of specialty engineered fastening technologies.

Stanley paid $850 million in cash for the Hong Kong-based company. The transaction was originally announced on July 2, 2012. 

Infastech’s annual revenues are about $580 million. 

More than half of Infastech’s 2012 revenues were generated in the Asia-Pacific region and once combined with Stanley Engineered Fastening, the enlarged business will generate close to 40% of its revenues from this region, the company said.

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New-home sales jump 15.6%

BY Ken Clark

Sales of new single-family houses in January 2013 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 437,000, up 15.6% from the December rate.

The new-home sales figure, released jointly Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is the highest since July 2008, when new sales were at a pace of 477,000. 

The median sales price of new houses sold in January 2013 was $226,400, according to the government report. The average sales price was $286,300. 

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January was 150,000. This represents a supply of 4.1 months at the current sales rate.

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Home Depot’s top merchant points to Q4 winners

BY Ken Clark

Home Depot’s Northern division, which bore the brunt of Superstorm Sandy late last year, saw comp-store generator sales up in the triple digits.

Storm-related sales were one of the reasons Home Depot’s fourth-quarter sales exceeded internal company expectations. Across the country, the departments that outperformed the company’s average comp for the fourth quarter were tools, lumber, electrical, outdoor garden, lighting, indoor garden and decor.

"We expect the impact of Sandy to continue at least through the first half of the year," said Craig Menear, the retailer’s executive VP merchandising.

Flooring, kitchens, bath, plumbing, hardware, paint and millwork performed positively in the fourth quarter, Menear said. And although comp sales in building materials were negative, they exceeded expectations, he said. 

"Across all U.S. divisions, the core of the store continues to maintain momentum with positive performance in our plumbing, hardware and paint departments and across maintenance and repair categories in spray paint, lubricants, light bulbs, chemicals, pipe and fittings, tape, plumbing repair and fasteners," Menear said, during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call.

Driven by generators and appliances, the company’s transactions for tickets over $900 were up 9.0%, he said. These transactions represent about 20% of the company’s U.S. sales.

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