Black & Decker reported a fourth-quarter profit of $33.9 million compared with $43.7 million for the same period a year ago. However, the firm's per-share earnings increased from 96 cents to $1.24 when excluding merger-related items associated with the acquisition of Stanley Works and restructuring costs. Black & Decker officials are optimistic about recent signs of an economic recovery and plan new lawn and garden products.

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