Black & Decker Raises First-Quarter Outlook, Shares Rise

Black & Decker's stock rose after the company raised its first-quarter profit and sales forecasts late Monday, citing strong international demand for power tools and favorable U.S. order trends.

Shares of the maker of Dewalt drills, Kwikset locks and Price Pfister faucets rose on Tuesday, following a rise in after-hours trading on Monday.

However, the company's chief executive, Nolan Archibald, warned in a written statement that the economic environment remains challenging. He said that Black & Decker would only increase its full-year earnings forecast slightly when it reports quarterly results later this month.

Black & Decker said it expects to report first-quarter net earnings of $1.60 per share, up from a previous view of $1.25 per share to $1.30 per share.

Wall Street analysts, on average, had been expecting earnings of $1.26 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

The company also said it expects sales to rise 3 percent, helped by favorable currency translation and the 2006 acquisition of Vector Products Inc., which makes vehicle battery chargers.

Black & Decker, based in Towson, Maryland, cut its earnings forecast multiple times last year as weakening home construction and sales hurt demand for its products.

In January, Black & Decker had said it expected sales and earnings to decline in the first half of 2007. But it also said orders had stabilized and large customers had begun a modest restocking of its products.

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