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Can Stanley Black & Decker Maintain Momentum Amid Headwinds?

Zacks Equity Research

Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. SWK has impressed investors with its recent earnings streak, having surpassed estimates thrice in the four trailing quarters. The company’s share price increase reflects its impressive performance, exhibiting investor optimism over the stock. In the past three months, the stock has gained 2.7%, outperforming the industry’s growth of 0.7%.

We believe that the company’s notable traction across markets will drive growth in the upcoming quarters.

Factors to Consider

Stanley Black & Decker is well poised to gain from strengthening foothold in emerging markets, efforts to innovate new products as well as growing recognition for Craftsman, Lenox, Irwin and DeWalt FlexVolt products. Notably, for 2019, the company anticipates generating organic sales growth of about 4%. Supported by healthy sales growth, cost-saving actions and lower share count, adjusted earnings are predicted to be $8.45-$8.65 per share. This bottom-line projection reflects year-over-year growth of 4-6%.

We are highly optimistic about Stanley Black & Decker’s market expansion strategies, which are expected to act as key growth drivers. In this regard, in March 2017, brands like Lenox and Irwin were acquired as part of Newell Tools, while Craftsman branded products were also added to the company’s portfolio. Newell Tools has been strengthening the company’s tools business through deeper penetration into markets worldwide and the addition of two prime tool brands. In the years ahead, the company anticipates revenue synergies of $100-$150 million from Irwin and Lenox products. In addition, Stanley Black & Decker anticipates generating $1 billion in sales from Craftsman products by 2021.

Over the years, the company has consistently returned significant cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. Notably, in 2018, it repurchased common stock worth $527.1 million and paid cash dividends of about $384.9 million.  Further, Stanley Black & Deckerincreased its quarterly dividend rate by 4.8% in July 2018.

However, the company is currently dealing with adverse impacts of rising cost of sales. In the fourth quarter of 2018, its cost of sales increased 9.4% year over year primarily due to commodity inflation, unfavorable impacts of foreign currency movements and tariffs. If unchecked, rising costs and expenses can hurt its margins in the quarters ahead.

In addition, for 2019, the company predicts that adverse impacts of tariffs, foreign currency woes and commodity inflation will affect earnings by 90 cents to $1.00 per share.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Stanley Black & Decker currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks from Zacks Industrial Products sector are Axon Enterprise, Inc AAXN, Cintas Corporation CTAS and Sandvik AB SDVKY. While Axon Enterprise sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Cintas and Sandvik carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Axon Enterpriseexceeded estimates in each of the preceding four quarters, the average positive earnings surprise being 391.67%.

Cintas surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average positive earnings surprise being 6.81%.

Sandvik’s earnings surprise in the last reported quarter was 3.57%.

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