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Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE:SWK) is slated to release its first quarter 2012 financial results on Wednesday, April 18, after the market closes. The current Zacks Consensus Earnings per Share (NYSEARCA:EPS) Estimate for the first quarter is $1.13 per share, representing an annualized growth of 4.29%. ????

The company had outdone the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing three quarters while it lagged behind in one. The average earnings surprise is a positive 2.17%, indicating the company's outperformance by the same magnitude over the last four quarters.

Fourth Quarter Highlights

With regard to the company???s last reported quarter, performance was impressive with earnings per share growing roughly 6% and revenue increasing by 17%. All the segments posted year-over-year improvements in revenues in the quarter.

Higher cost of sales depressed gross margin and settled at 35.6% in the quarter. Cash balances improved sequentially while cash flow from operations was impressive.

Detailed discussion on the fourth quarter results can be found here: SWK Ups Estimate, Outlook Impressive

Agreement/Magnitude of Estimate Revisions

In the last 30 days, there were no major changes in the earnings estimates for the first quarter of 2012, fiscal year 2012 and 2013. Only one analyst increased his earnings per share estimate for the first quarter and fiscal year 2012. There were no negative revisions either.

Estimates remained static for the first quarter and the fiscal year 2012 at $1.13 and $5.87, representing year-over-year growth of 4.29% and 12.11%, respectively.

Our Take

We believe Stanley Black & Decker is well positioned for achieving good financial results even in the next quarter, benefiting primarily from the company's acquisitive nature, recovering global demand, and new product introductions.

Our belief is backed by management???s expectations of cost synergies from the Black & Decker and Niscayah acquisitions. Moreover, the company's recently announced cost reduction program, share buybacks and dividend payments are added attractions for the stock.

We currently maintain a Neutral recommendation on the stock, which is supported by the Zacks #2 (Buy) Rank.

Source: Stanley Black & Decker: Earnings Preview