Black & Decker Corp. said third-quarter profit rose 51 percent as sales of its DeWalt power tools climbed. The Towson-based company raised its profit forecast for the year.

Earnings rose to $112.5 million ($1.37 a share) from $74.4 million (95 cents) in the comparable quarter last year.

For the year, the largest U.S. maker of power tools expects earnings from continuing operations to rise to $5.33 to $5.38 a share from $3.68 in 2003.

Chief executive Nolan D. Archibald has cut jobs and closed plants while boosting sales of Black & Decker and DeWalt power tools to homeowners and contractors. That helped widen gross margin and profit in the period ended Sept. 26. Sales for the quarter rose 15 percent, to $1.28 billion from $1.12 billion.

For the first nine months of the year, profit was $320.7 million ($4.04) on $3.67 billion in sales, up from a profit of $193.5 million ($2.48) on sales of $3.15 billion in the same period of 2003. Shares closed yesterday at $79.83, down 51 cents.

* Allied Capital Corp., a District-based commercial finance company, said improvement in the value of its portfolio of loans and other investments boosted its profit.

Allied earned $86 million (66 cents a share) in the third quarter, compared with $33.7 million (28 cents) in the third quarter of 2003. The company recorded net unrealized gains in its portfolio -- or an increase in the value of investments that have not been sold -- of $32 million in the quarter, compared with $13.4 million.

Net investment income, which includes the interests, dividend and fee income Allied recognizes on its core business, fell slightly in the quarter because of higher administrative and compensation expenses.

For the first nine months of 2004, Allied earned $201.6 million ($1.53), compared with $113.6 million (98 cents) in the first nine months of 2003. Allied had assets on Sept. 30 of $3.4 billion, compared with $3 billion at the beginning of the year. Shares closed at $26.18, up 41 cents.

* Corporate Office Properties Trust, a Columbia-based real estate investment trust, said profit for the third quarter was $4.2 million (12 cents), down 24 percent from $5.4 million (18 cents) in the comparable quarter last year. Revenue for the quarter ended Sept. 30 was $60.8 million, down from $65.2 million.

Funds from operations -- a measurement used by REITs -- were $17.4 million, up from $16.7 million. The company owns 136 office buildings, mainly in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs. Shares closed at $28.05, up 65 cents.

* Washington Real Estate Investment Trust, a Rockville-based real estate investment trust, said profit for the third quarter was $10.8 million (26 cents), down 1.8 percent from $11 million (28 cents) in the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter ended Sept. 30 was $45.6 million, up from $41.2 million.

Funds from operations were $21.3 million, up from $20 million. The company owns 69 office buildings, residential units, retail centers and industrial properties in the D.C. and Baltimore region. Shares closed at $31.85, up 58 cents.

* HealthExtras, Inc., a Rockville-based pharmacy benefit management company, said profit in the third quarter rose 54 percent.

The company reported earnings of $4.3 million (12 cents a share) for the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with $2.8 million (8 cents) in the comparable period a year earlier. Revenue rose to $143.2 million, compared with $95 million.

HealthExtras officials said the company is likely to meet or to exceed its previously stated guidance for the year of approximately $510 million in revenue and earnings of $16.4 million. The announcement came after the market close. Shares closed at $14, up 70 cents, or 5 percent.

* Harman International Industries Inc., a District-based audio systems manufacturer, said strong sales boosted profit 70 percent in its first quarter. The company earned $33.7 million (48 cents a share) in the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from $19.8 million (29 cents) in the comparable quarter last year. Revenue rose 16 percent, to $691.7 million from $597.3 million. Harman said it signed a definitive agreement to acquire one of its suppliers, QNX Software Systems Ltd. of Canada. Shares closed at $112.55, up $8.

* Visual Networks Inc., a Rockville network management company, earned $246,000 (1 cent) on $13.8 million in revenue in its third quarter, compared with a loss of $2.5 million (8 cents) on $9.4 million in revenue in the third quarter last year. The company ended the quarter with $12.5 million in cash and cash equivalents on hand. Shares of Visual Networks fell 1 cent, to close at $2.92.