Steve Phillips, Do it Best board member, dies at 57
Steve Phillips, the Do it Best board member and president of Phillips Lumber Do it Center in Cedar Hill, Texas, died unexpectedly Feb. 2.
He is survived by his wife Robin, and their three children, Jason, Cheryl and Christopher.
Phillips has been a member of the Do it Best board of directors since 2006. His company joined the Do it Best co-op in 1980.
“Steve has been a strong, supportive member of Do it Best Corp. for 30 years,” said Bob Taylor, president and CEO of Do it Best Corp. “I have long admired the example he set with his commitment to his family, his faith and his community. Our board has benefited greatly from his counsel, guidance and leadership. We will certainly miss his many contributions, but most of all, we will miss his friendship. Our prayers are with Robin, Jason, Cheryl and Chris at this difficult time.”
AHMA Index: Current sales hold steady
The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s (AHMA) January Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index declined slightly to 100 from 112.5 in December, while the Future Expectations Index increased to 229.3 from 225.9 in December.
Both indexes use data collected in October 2008 as a base reference, with October 2008 equaling 100.
For January, 24% of respondents said sales increased, down from 27% in December. The survey also indicated 46% said sales were even, and 30% said sales were below year-ago levels, down from 52% in December.
Looking forward six months, the index showed 61% of respondents predicted sales will increase, up from 60% in December, and 26% saw sales remaining even, with 13% expecting sales to decrease.
Looking forward one year, the index showed 72% of respondents predicted sales will increase, up from 71% in December, and 23% saw sales remaining even, while the number expecting sales to decrease remained at just 6%.
“While sales levels for some of our members are beginning to improve slightly, most of them remain frustrated by macroeconomic hurdles, such as high unemployment levels and a stagnant housing market, standing between them and the opportunity for more robust growth,” said Timothy Farrell, president and CEO of AHMA.
The index also touched on “hot topic” issues. First, it asked how members rated President Obama’s performance on the heels of his first State of the Union Address: 2% responded “Positive,” 13% responded “Neutral,” and 85% responded “Negative.”
The question was also posed: “Do you feel the election of Republican Scott Brown in a special election to fill the Massachusetts Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy was a referendum on health reform, and the Obama administration more generally?” 81% responded “Yes,” 11% responded “Not sure,” and 7% responded “No.”
The index is a monthly indicator of the economic health and “mood” of the industry based on a survey of AHMA members.
Stanley sales down, but earnings up in Q4
New Britain, Conn.-based Stanley Works has reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $55.4 million, compared with a $700,000 loss reported for the same quarter last year. Sales for the quarter were $969.4 million, down 11% from $1.08 billion reported for the same quarter in 2008.
For the full year, the company reported earnings of $223 million, down 27.3% from $306.9 million reported for 2008. Sales were $3.74 billion, down 15.6% from $4.43 billion as reported last year.
“I am pleased with our performance throughout a challenging year, as we have emerged in an even stronger competitive position than we started,” said John Lundgren, chairman and CEO.
“We have made substantial progress in planning and preparing for the integration of Black & Decker, a transformative transaction that will support the continued expansion of our global business platform,” he said.
The company expects the merger to be completed sometime between the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second quarter. Lundgren said that the merger will lay the groundwork to increase shareholder value in the long term.
Looking forward, the company said it expects net sales to increase between 2% and 4% from 2009.