B&D; earnings plunge 55%


A recession in the construction industry contributed to a 55 percent decline in Black & Decker Corp.'s second quarter earnings.

The manufacturer and marketer of power tools and home products announced yesterday that it earned $7.3 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $1.1 billion. That compares with $16.1 million, or 26 cents a share, on sales of $1.2 billion for the 1990 second quarter.

For the six months, earnings declined 56 percent, to $11.4 million, or 18 cents a share, from $26.1 million, or 43 cents a share the year before. Sales during the first six months of 1991 were $2.19 billion, compared with $2.23 billion during the first half of 1990.

Black & Decker also declared a regular cash dividend of 10 cents a share, payable Sept. 27 to stockholders of record on Sept. 13.

The company said the decline in revenue reflected the sale of non-strategic businesses that generated approximately $100 million in last year's second quarter.

Nolan D. Archibald, chairman and chief executive officer, said it is too early to tell what effect an economic recovery will have on 1991 revenues. "With our tight expense controls and strong market share positions, however, we are well positioned to show continued earnings improvement through the balance of the year," Archibald said.

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