Power tool maker The Black & Decker Corporation announced that net earnings from continuing operations for the third quarter of 2004 were a record U.S. $111.3 million, or $1.35 per diluted share, versus $73.2 million, or $0.94 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2003.
Sales from continuing operations increased 15 percent for the quarter to a record $1.28 billion. Foreign currency translation had a 3 percent positive impact on sales. Free cash flow was $82 million for the quarter and $205 million year-to-date, an increase of $115 million versus the first 9 months of 2003.
Black & Decker said that sales and operating profit in the Power Tools and Accessories segment increased 6 percent and 24 percent, respectively. Sales in the DEWALT-brand segment increased across all product categories in the U.S., as European sales increased at a mid-single-digit rate and Latin America and Asian sales grew at a double-digit-rate.
The company said it expects double-digit earnings growth in 2005, with earnings from continuing operations of approximately $6.00 per diluted share.
In addition, the company announced that Mark H. Willes has been elected to the board of directors. The retired chairman, president, and CEO of The Times Mirror Company previously served as a director of Black & Decker from 1990 to 2001.
Black & Decker also announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.21 per share of the company's outstanding common stock payable Dec. 31, 2004, to stockholders of record at the close of business on Dec. 17, 2004.
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