Amid show and tell, Stanley offers update

For about two years, the story at Stanley Black & Decker was never too far removed from the single word: “integration.” The merger of two tool giants was a natural topic for analysts, observers and customers.

During a product demonstration and media day in New York City this month, the story began to change back to another word: “innovation.” The company, as it unveiled dozens of new products at a New York City event this month, says it is beginning to gel across Stanley, Black & Decker, Bostitch, DeWalt and Porter Cable.

“It’s not as much an integration, it’s now more of daily life for us,” said Kyle Dancho, Stanley Black and Decker’s president of hand tools and fastening, 

In his state-of-the-industry presentation, Dancho remained cautious. “Housing is starting to percolate,” he said. “We’re hearing it, but we aren’t necessarily seeing it.”

The company is rolling out 250 new hand tool products this year across brands and across regions. One area of interest is laser-aided measuring tools, thanks to the expiration of a previous business deal with Bosch. 

“We’re back in the game of laser measurement,” he said. 

And as the industry Stanley recently announced the acquisition of Brewster, N.Y.-based Powers Fasteners, a specialist and leader in concrete masonry anchors. 

“Together, we will combine our fasteners and anchors with [Stanley Construction and DIY’s] hand tools, power tools and accessories in the commercial construction channels, targeting concrete fastening,” said Jeff Powers, CEO of Powers Fasteners of Brewster, N.Y., in a statement.

Powers Fasteners, founded in 1921, will continue to conduct business as usual, according to executives. The same goes for Stanley, which sought to bust rumors that the acquisition signaled some sort of plan to change its core strategy and imitate a Hilti-style operation.

“We don’t want to be like Hilti,” Dancho said. “We are not going to go direct.” 

While Hilti is close to its end users, and Powers is close to its end users, the difference is that Powers relies on established distribution partners. “We will continue to do that,” Dancho said. 

In other Stanley news, the New Britain, Conn.-based tool maker said it was expanding its Shelbyville, Ky., facility.

The new products on display during the Stanley Black & Decker media event at the Westin in midtown Manhattan included:

• Bostitch cordless paper collated framing nailer;
• Stanley heavy-duty shop shears;
• Bostitch high efficiency, oil-free compressors; and
Stanley stud sensors with professional features.

In its most recent quarter, Stanley Black & Decker posted first quarter revenues of $2.65 billion, up from $2.36 billion in the first quarter of 2011. Net earnings declined 23% to $121.8 million.