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Black & Decker Lays Off 1,200

Power tools manufacturer said Thursday that its fourth-quarter profit tumbled 77 percent from a year earlier, resulting in job cuts totaling approximately 1,200 positions.

TOWSON, Md. (AP) -- Black & Decker Corp. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter profit tumbled 77 percent on a large restructuring charge and declining demand as the prior year benefited from a hefty tax settlement.

The power tools manufacturer also announced job cuts totaling approximately 1,200 positions and cautioned that its first-quarter results would be hurt by declining sales and a stronger U.S. dollar.

Black & Decker, whose products include the Dewalt stud and joist drill, Delta unisaw and cordless outdoor tools under its namesake brand, reported net income plunged to $43.7 million, or 73 cents per share, compared with $187.4 million, or $2.94 per share, a year ago.

Quarterly results included a $20.8 million restructuring charge. Prior-year results benefited from a $153.4 million tax settlement, which was partially offset by charges totaling $50.7 million.

Excluding the restructuring charge, adjusted earnings were 97 cents per share.

For the period ended Dec. 31, revenue slid 16 percent to $1.38 billion from $1.65 billion due to a stronger U.S. dollar.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters forecast net income of 67 cents per share on revenue of $1.41 billion. Analysts' estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Chief Executive Nolan D. Archibald said in a statement that the company reduced its work force by approximately 1,200 positions during the quarter as it looks to cut costs to contend with softening demand.

Full-year earnings declined 43 percent to $293.6 million, or $4.82 per share, compared with $518.1 million, or $7.85 per share. Adjusted earnings were $5.47 per share.

Annual sales dropped to $6.09 billion, down 7 percent from $6.56 billion in the previous year.

Black & Decker cautioned that first-quarter sales are likely to drop about 20 percent on weakening demand, retail inventory adjustments and the stronger U.S. dollar.

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