UPDATE 1-Black & Decker slashes dividend

jueves 30 de abril de 2009 20:37 CEST

* Cuts dividend 71 pct to $0.12/shr

* Sees reducing cash outflows by $54 mln in 2009

April 30 (Reuters) - Tool maker Black & Decker Corp BDK.N slashed its quarterly dividend by 71 percent as the U.S. manufacturer took yet another measure to cut costs in a tough business environment.

Black & Decker, which also makes home-improvement products, cut its dividend to 12 cents a share from 42 cents.

The company said the dividend cut will reduce cash outflows by $54 million in 2009.

Last week, the company posted a 93 percent drop in quarterly net profit, cut its 2009 outlook and said it would evaluate its dividend payout. [ID:nBNG60910]

The company has been hit by the housing slump, which has weakened demand for its power tools, locks and plumbing products.

It has taken several cost-cutting measures, including job cuts and reduced executive compensation, since the beginning of 2008.

Its current employment level is about 20 percent lower compared with the end of 2007.

Black & Decker shares, which have fallen about 44 percent in the past year, were trading up $1.74 at $40.02 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by A.Ananthalakshmi in Bangalore; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan) ((ananthalakshmi.as@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 4135 5800; Reuters Messaging: ananthalakshmi.as.reuters.com@reuters.net))