Stanley Black & Decker has been in financial news lately. One headline last night said that “now’s not the time to buy.”
Early today, a Marktwatch report talked about the stock “falling nearly 7%,” and a Bloomberg story discussed the same. The Financial Times covered the story a little later, when the drop had increased to over 13%.
By the time the market closed, their stock value was down 15.48%.
Amid the news were puns that proved hard to ignore. Financial Times’s headline was about Stanley Black & Decker being hammered, and then their story talked about how a profits forecast sawed value off their shares.
There is some interesting information in Stanley Black & Decker’s latest investor press release:
We continue to be well-positioned to deliver share gains as we leverage our robust growth catalysts, which include the continued Craftsman brand rollout, Lenox and Irwin revenue synergies, FlexVolt, e-commerce, emerging markets and new innovations.
Tools & Storage net sales increased 4% versus 4Q’17 due to volume (+5%), and price (+2%) partially offset by currency (-3%). Each region contributed to the strong organic growth for the quarter with North America +10%, Europe +4% and emerging markets +3%. North America organic growth was driven by continued benefits from new product innovation, the rollout of the Craftsman brand and price realization.
From Stanley Black & Decker’s Q4 and FY 2018 Earnings Call Slides
I haven’t posted about it yet, but Stanley Black & Decker acquired 20% of MTD, an outdoor power tool brand and OEM.
FlexVolt remains a prominent mention in investor materials. I guess they use the FlexVolt brand instead of Dewalt FlexVolt for brevity, but couldn’t the join the two in the same way you have Stanley FatMax? That’s something I am always curious about.
What other FlexVolt tech do you think will be coming out in 2019?
Interesting – they Q4 2018 saw a 4% increase in tools and storage revenue, but a 0.90% decrease in profits, because benefits from volume leverage, pricing, and cost control was more than offset by currency, commodity inflation, and tariffs.
Tools and storage revenue in Q4 2018 was $2.582 BILLION.
For the year,
Revenues Of [all product categories] $14.0 Billion, Up 8% Versus Prior Year Fueled By 5% Organic Growth | Organic Growth Led By Tools & Storage (+7%) | 3 Pt. Contribution From Acquisitions
I’m going to have to find a transcript of the earnings call, or something of the sort, to see what this slide was all about. Craftsman has been a big emphasis in last year’s investor info, shedding light on SBD’s plans for the brand, and no doubt some of 2019’s plans were mentioned in today’s earnings call.
A lot of the “external headwinds” facing Stanley Black & Decker cannot be ignored – and hasn’t been ignored by financial press and investors given what happened today – but I think they’re in a good place as far as the tool industry is concerned.
More Info(SWK Investor Materials)
I think that 2019 will be an interesting year for tools, as SBD and other brands introduce new products and technologies. The financial headlines that were hitting my phone had me a little worried, but after reading the source materials and the articles, I can see why “external headwinds” is mentioned 6 times in their official full year and Q4 2018 earnings report.
SBD bought MTD …
Not only that but SBD retains an option to buy the remaining 80% of MTD in 2021. I would not be surprised if they exercised it, my gut tells me they will.
MTD was the OEM for Craftsman outdoor equip. Outdoor equipment made up a huge portion of Craftsman sales and SBD didn’t want to lose that value in the brand.
MTD also owns Bolens, Troy Built, Cub Cadet, Remington, White and Yard-Man
If SBD buys out the remaining 80% of MTD I wouldn’t be surprised to see gas OPE appear in Yellow&Black eventually either.
For those of you as challenged as I, it took me a few moments to realize OPE refers to Outdoor Power Equipment.
You’re welcome. 🙂
There’s going to be a lot of market craziness throughout 2019, for reasons that I won’t get into on a tool forum, but I do wonder if rolling out Craftsman at Lowe’s (which it seems has gone all-in on the brand) is going to make massive profits and increase the stock price for SBD or not.
I’m hoping the USA-made Craftsman stuff is good, but I do think SBD is probably going to make most of their profit from the cheaper imported stuff that is just branded as Craftsman.
The issue with the Craftsman acquisition is that the tools aren’t well, Craftsman. For years the tools were made by Danaher before Apex Tool Group and Western Forge (SK). They had a certain look, feel, and style. The Professional line was as good as anything out there. At the end there was a short attempt to sell these USA tools under Craftsman Industrial, but it never took off and wasn’t adequately supported.
SBD is simply slapping the name on tools similar to Irwin, DeWalt, and so on. The hand tools feel cheap. Made In USA with Global Components comes across more as a marketing gimmick than a true commitment.
I wish Apex Tool Group would have purchased Craftsman as opposed to SBD. Word was they looked at it, but with their commitment to Gearwrench, they couldn’t support both.
Anyway, as a proud owner of every Craftsman Hand Tool Made In the USA between about 1997 to 2007 (before Sockets/Wrenches were imported), I just can’t get on board with rebadged DeWalt ratchets and such. Until they’re truly 100% made here, when I have a hand tool need I’ll first look to SK, then Snap On/Matco. BTW, the bright red just looks cheap. Just Sayin’
Yes. Exactly. Too bad for those who actualled cared about the legacy of what once was.
Eddie Lampert neither cared nor likely understood this. And now Stanley. And now “Lowe’s”?
“Move along. Nothing to see here.”
Give ’em time.
I agree Lynyrd
CRAFTSMAN HAND TOOLS AT LOWES WITH THE CRAFTSMAN LOGO SMUGED AND PARTLY WORN OFF ON BRAND NEW PLIERS. THEY GOT TO STEP IT UP A BIT.
GO TO YOUR LOWES AND LOOK AT THEIR PLIERS AND SEE FOR YOURSELF. WITH THAT SAID, I LOVE THEIR FLASHLIGHTS! NOW THEY ARE WELL MADE AND I THINK THEIR POWER EQUIPMENT WILL DO WELL THIS SPRING. EVERTING ELSE NEEDS IMPROVMENT. WHATS MISSING IS CRAFTSMAN PROFESSIONAL. AND IF THEY MAKE IT? It NEEDS TO BE PROFESSIONAL! I WAS HOPING SBD WOULD UNDERSTAND, NOT EVERYONE WANTS DEWALT AT THE JOB SITE. BUT THEY DONT WANT DRILLS THAT SMOKE WHEN THEY ARE USING THEM.
Stop watching vcg… remember Milwaukee pays a lot of people , sponsor, and hands out free tools like candy….some many ignorant people…
I’m in Lowes about twice a day. While I was in Lowes talking to my friend at the service desk, a man brought back a Craftsman drill for a refund because it started smoking while he was in a remodel job. He just happened to have a video of it on his iPhone. I’ve also heard about other quality issues with their other stuff. It was not the brushless though, I believe their brushless to be well made. I’m my opinion I think all craftsman tools should be made on par with Dewalt and would like to see a USA version of craftsman hand tools. I did buy a Craftsman flashlight at lowes I love.
Proof is in the pudding bud Dewalt smokes. Stop being a Dewalt fan boy. Everyone makes klunker tools no matter the brand name.
Eyes and Ears everywhere, Joe Framer. See you next live stream ; )
I liked the Danaher-made designs and lots of the 90-2000’s Craftsman stuff, but Apex were the ones who pulled everything overseas, starting with Danaher’s USA-made stuff.
I’m pretty sure if they had bought the Craftsman name, you’d just see the exact same stuff that’s in Sears stores now – almost all made in China with a Craftsman name on it.
I actually thought Apex was going to get it for almost nothing in a behind-the-scenes deal, but I guess SBD wanted it really badly and they made Eddie an offer he couldn’t refuse.
As much as I agree about the current tools and everything either being sourced from Apex or rebranded SBD designs, at least some people understood the desire for USA-made Craftsman tools and committed to it. It remains to be seen what it looks like when that finally happens, but hopefully some USA-made Craftsman tools are better than no USA-made Craftsman tools.
I contacted SBD the other day and explained to them why I wasn’t buying Craftsman yet and that I wanted USA made Craftsman tools. Below is their reply…
“Thank you for contacting us.
Per your email inquiry, Stanley Black and Decker Craftsman is a global company. Our products and materials derive from a global market which of course includes the United States of America. Your email correspondence has been forwarded to the appropriate divisions for review. We appreciate your concern and feedback.
In case this email does not fully answer your question, or you would like to contact us for any reason, simply reply to this email.
Craftsman Customer Care
Visit us online at http://www.craftsman.com“
Ahahahaha. Ahahahahahaha. DOA…
I’ve said it before, the entry to the OPE market was one of the primary strategies of the Craftsman acquisition. The investment in MTD, with the option to fully acquire, is a continuation of that strategy.
As for USA made Craftsman, we are not likely to see the return of many USA made hand tools. SBD has said, “”About 40 percent of Craftsman products will be manufactured in the United States after the initial product relaunch…. The goal is for about 70 percent of Craftsman tools to be Made in America in the next few years, Loree adds.”
If I recall, at the launch event, they were discussing this in terms of percentage of sales revenue. Between the Waterloo acquisition and the investment in MTD for power outdoor equipment, there will be some higher priced items made in the US with global components). If they sell a customer 1 US made tool chest combo ($800), 1 US made lawn mower ($1,000), a couple US made cordless power tools ($250) and 1,500 pieces of foreign made hand tools ($1,000), they have achieved over 50% of that customer’s Craftsman products, by sales revenue, being US made.
With Craftsman and MTD, SBD is getting ta foothold in the lawn and garden/OPE space. Though not in lawn and garden, SBD also recently acquired an implement business so they are expanding into light ag and construction in a way they haven’t previously.
We sometimes get myopic about hand tools on this and other forums board but hand tools only account for approximately 1/3 of Craftsman revenue and probably less for its profit.
funny I assumed MTD made the dewalt OPE anyway – and most if not all of the black and decker.
Would be interesting. ALso MTD makes for people but doesn”t own them. MTD doesn’t own Ryobi but they make/made things for them. As I understand it.
Anyway again should be interesting. Looking forward to a craftsman branded 60 volt cordless OPE stuffs.
Well said. VCG is the most biased channel I have seen. The bad acting is comical
I think that slide will tell the story of how they handle hand tools in retail stores. There would be no reason to have Craftsman, Stanley and Stanley FatMax in the same store across the same hand tool categories. To me in these categories these three brands are all the same.
1. Do you know how hard it is to actually FIND ToughSystem boxes especially models like the one with the clear lid? T-Stak is a bit easier but I ended up mail ordering. HD simply isn’t stocking. Is this an SBD problem or an HD problem? If they fix this, maybe tool storage profits will go up?
2. This looks like GM all over again. Need to cut out the excess branding crap and focus the product lines. As has been mentioned the tool buyers are seeing a morasse of stuff and they pretty much know most of them are the same company. No product differentiation.
3. Forget about seeing Craftsman in Apex industrial quality any time soon. If they did that, they’d cannabilize sales for the Dewalt brand. Simply getting customers to switch from Dewalt at a premium price to Craftsman at a slightly lower price is a loser for SBD. Getting them to switch from Ryobi or Ridgid as in hey homeowner, but the brand your grand-dad bought…now that makes sense and that’s the point of the brand. But they do need a bunch of advertising and photos of dads and kids or granddads and kids or some such.
Paul, I’ve found Home Depot to be very hit or miss on ToughSystem (TS) availability. Not as bad as with Packout (which I’ve only seen during the holiday season) but close. Until recently, when they seem to have disappeared, the clear top organizer was the only TS box consistently carried. The large DS400 was carried in only maybe 10% of stores I’d visit, the medium DS300 in maybe 25%, and the small DS150 mostly in stores which carried the DS300. Now the holiday special combos have been split up and a lot of the DS450s and DS130s are in local stores, as are the usual plethora of TS radios.
As for your latter two points I agree that marketing Craftsman to a similar demographic as DeWalt is a mistake. When I go to my local Lowe’s I feel like my garage (containing a lot of the DeWalt 20v Max lineup) was raided and explored red. With little imagination, the Craftsman blower and miter saw could be colored yellow and pass for DeWalt, as can a lot of their other tools. Maybe SBD see this as a chance to offer color choice as opposed to truly different cordless systems.
On another point, I’m still subscribed to VCG’s Youtube channel and even still watch the occasional video. I was a fairly big fan last year when the channel was still under 5k subscribers, though it was obvious they were desperate to grow. I liked the enthusiasm of Vince and the types of content at that time. It seems that as they’ve grown, though, the uploads increase while appealing less and less to me. I just checked and see they now have over 28k subscribers, so even while they lose the interest of viewers like me they are doing something right from the Youtube viewpoint.
If anybody has looked closely at Craftsman hand tools at Lowes recently, you will notice two main things. Craftsman hand tools are priced slightly higher than Kobalt, and the Kobalt hand tool line is rapidly shrinking.
I would say that by the end of the year, there will be very few if any Kobalt hand tools in Lowes stores. I think at one time, most of the Kobalt tools were made by APEX.
Based on the amount of floor space for Craftsman displays at Lowes, I’m pretty sure SBD told Lowes that Craftsman would have to be their primary tool brand. Whether that is the best decision for Lowes remains to be seen. I guess it depends on how well Craftsman sells. I haven’t bought any of the new SBD production Craftsman, mainly because I am holding out for USA made tools, hence my email and the reply above.
I never had any problem with Kobalt tools. I own quite a bit of Kobalt stuff, both USA made and from other countries. At one point I considered Kobalt considerably better than the Chinese made Craftsman.
MTD is one of the largest privately owned companies in the USA. They are also one of the world’s largest outdoor power equipment manufacturers and also had a plant in Germany, Australia and South America that I knew of.
They made mowers for everyone but Sears. Made them for J C Penney, White motors, Montgomery Wards, and lots of others. They bought Yard Man and Cub Cadet from International Harvester. They partnered with LUK clutches for a while.
They bought Arnold that makes mower replacement blades and parts.
I worked in maintenance at the original 1932 Cleveland (Parma) plant for 34 years until it closed. They made our plant and our sister plant in Liverpool, Ohio all automotive parts. But we still made 60% of their lawn mower blades at our plant.
I knew the owners and I am very surprised that the family sold 20% to SBD.