Yesterday, fellow Fool Stephen Simpson discussedUniversal Forest Products (NASDAQ:UFPI), a peripheral benefactor of the booming real estate market. Well, it looks like Black & Decker (NYSE:BDK) may be reaping some of those benefits as well. It seems that not only are people having a plethora of houses built but also they are likely to put some of their equity to use through remodeling. That's great news for the maker of tools under the Black & Decker and Dewalt brands.

The company announced that it now expects to earn $1.33 to $1.35 for the first quarter, way ahead of the prior range of $1.05 to $1.10. Analysts made the mistake of believing the company's earlier projections and are expecting earnings of $1.07 per share -- at least, they were until yesterday.

Using the midpoint of the new estimated-earnings range equates to an increase of 44% over the year-ago earnings of $0.93 per share. As if that weren't enough, those estimates don't even include the impact of an insurance settlement, which will add about $0.43 to those stratospheric expectations. (Of course, that's not an operating gain, but every little bit helps.) Black & Decker credited the earnings growth to strong North American sales of its power tools and accessories.

Sales are also expected to drill estimates. Including currency translation and acquisitions, revenue is projected to increase 39% over last year's $1.1 billion.

As a result of the good news, Black & Decker's stock finished the day 10% higher yesterday, approaching a new 52-week high. The stock has now increased by 46% over the past year yet still maintains a fair trailing P/E of just more than 16. Compare those numbers to a competitor such as Stanley Works (NYSE:SWK), which has a similar P/E but has increased a relatively low 9% in the last year. Perhaps even more impressive is what happens when you add the increase in earnings growth to the annual estimates. With the new 2005 estimates, Black & Decker's forward P/E comes in under 14.

Although Black & Decker is no screaming value, its remarkable earnings growth, strong brand image, and still no-too-expensive price, show that it's certainly capable of continuing its steady climb.

Read more about Black & Decker and other tool companies in these articles:

Fool contributor MikeCianciolo welcomes feedback and doesn't own any of the companies in this article.