Raymond James Ups Stanley Works to 'Strong Buy'

Analyst Sam Darkatsh cites the tool maker's improving business trends and upwardly revised guidance

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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