Power tools maker
Black & Decker
took a belt sander to its fourth-quarter earnings outlook, shaving a nice chunk off the bottom line on weak sales.
The company said fourth-quarter earnings will come in between 95 cents and $1.05 a share, much lower than the consensus 11-analyst expectation of $1.46. Full-year earnings will now come in between $3.48 and $3.58 a share, lower than the $3.99 estimate.
Black & Decker warned that fourth-quarter sales would be 6% lower than the year-ago period, and the company will be carrying about $800 million in inventory at the start of 2001. If the current economic weakness continues, then the company said 2001's first two quarters will either be even with or lower than the same period in fiscal 2000.
That said, the company affirmed the fiscal 2001 picture, saying it still expects earnings per share to grow 10%, while sales are expected to grow 4% over the full-year period.
"Having met or exceeded Wall Street expectations for 15 consecutive quarters, we are particularly disappointed with these developments," Nolan D. Archibald, chairman and chief executive at Black & Decker, said in a statement.