Updating Stanley Black & Decker Inc., Ameren Corp., General Electric Co. and Buckeye Partners L.P.

STANLEY BLACK & DECKER INC. $136 (www.stanleyblackanddecker.com) is one of the world’s largest makers of tools for consumers. It also manufactures specialized tools for auto mechanics and construction firms. The company earned $1.29 a share in the first quarter of 2017, up 0.8% from $1.28 a year earlier. Sales rose 5.0%, to $2.8 billion from $2.7 billion. Stanley continues to use acquisitions to expand, including its recent purchase of the hand-tool business of Newell Brands (see page 51). That will help the company meet its goal of expanding its annual sales to $22 billion by 2022. Stanley has a strong history of integrating new businesses and improving their profitability, and that cuts the risk of expanding by acquisition. Buy.

AMEREN CORP. $56 (www.ameren.com) provides power and natural gas to 3.3 million clients in Illinois and Missouri. In the three months ended March 31, 2017, the company’s earnings per share fell 2.3%, to $0.42 from $0.43 a year earlier. That’s mainly because warmer-thanusual winter weather hurt demand for gas and electricity. Hold.

GENERAL ELECTRIC CO. $28 (www.ge.com) has secured several new contracts to supply power-generating equipment and other products to businesses in Saudi Arabia. In all, those multi-year deals are worth up to $15 billion, or 12% of its annual revenue. Buy.

BUCKEYE PARTNERS L.P. $67 (www.buckeye.com) operates oil pipelines and storage terminals, mainly in the U.S. Northeast and Midwest. The partnership has raised its quarterly distribution by 1.0%, to $1.25 a unit from $1.2375. The new annual rate of $5.00 yields a high 7.5%. Buy.

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