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Raymond James Ups Stanley Works to 'Strong Buy'

Raymond James upgraded Stanley Works (SWK) to strong buy from market perform.

Analyst Sam Darkatsh notes the maker of carpentry tools and door products raised the 61 cents to 64 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (before charges) guidance to 68 cents to 71 cents on better-than-expected home-center demand, Mac Tools, and entry door sales; the long-awaited rebound in industrial-tools sales (better margins) finally seems to have arrived, Darkatsh notes.

Stanley Works also announced the sale of its residential entry-door business to Masonite for $160 million. Darkatsh raised the 62 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share estimate (before charges) to 70 cents, upped the $2.12 2003 estimate to $2.20, and sees $2.55 in 2004.

He upgraded the stock to strong buy on improving business trends, better inventory management, and an expected near-term resolution of the company's senior leadership team. He set a $43 price target.

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