Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. (SWK) Misled Investors Regarding the Sustainability of Consumer Demand for its Products
A shareholder filed a class action on behalf of all persons and entities that purchased or otherwise acquired Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. (NYSE: SWK) common stock between October 28, 2021 and July 28, 2022, for violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Stanley is a global manufacturer of, inter alia, hand tools, power tools, and outdoor products for consumer and commercial customers, as well as engineered fastening systems for industrial customers.
According to the complaint, during the class period, defendants misrepresented to investors and the public that despite rising inflation and interest rates, and Stanley’s multiple rounds of product price increases, that pandemic-fueled, heightened consumer demand for tools and outdoor products would be sustainable through 2022 due to continuing construction and DIY projects. Defendants also misrepresented to investors that they were closely monitoring the effects of inflation and price increases on consumer demand, and that defendants would react accordingly if the demand environment changed.
On April 28, 2022, defendants issued a set of partial corrective disclosures stating that Stanley’s Tools and Outdoor net sales had dropped in the Company’s first fiscal quarter of 2022 to $4.4 billion, and that Stanley was accordingly revising its earnings per share guidance down for fiscal year 2022. Defendants also disclosed that Stanley’s gross margin dropped “610 basis points from prior year as price realization was more than offset primarily by commodity inflation, higher supply chain costs to serve demand and lower volumes.” On this news, Stanley stock fell 8.6% or $12.01 per share, from a close of $139.14 per share on April 27, 2022, to a close of $127.13 on April 28, 2022.
On July 28, 2022, the truth was fully revealed when Stanley released its Q2 2022 results in a press release, stating that “significantly slower demand in late May and June  drove the majority of the challenges we faced this quarter” and that “[a]s the softening of the demand environment accelerated rapidly during the last portion of the quarter … [w]e are now preparing for demand to normalize closer to 2019 levels for the remainder of 2022.” On a conference call the same day, defendants revealed that, due to a sharp slowdown in consumer demand for power tools in May through June 2022, sales volumes had in fact shrunk by double digits, the Company’s net income for its second quarter had plunged to $87.6M compared to $459.5M in the year-earlier quarter, and that Stanley was cutting its 2022 earnings per share guidance by nearly half. On this news, Stanley’s common stock, which had closed at $117.45 per share the evening prior, fell to a closing price of $98.58 per share on July 28, 2022 on heavy trading volume, representing over a 16% day-over-day drop.
What Now: Similarly situated shareholders may be eligible to participate in the class action against Stanley. Shareholders who want to act as lead plaintiff for the class should contact Robbins LLP for more information. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. You do not have to participate in the case to be eligible for a recovery.
All representation is on a contingency fee basis. Shareholders pay no fees or expenses.