3M Tells Investors, Analysts 5-Year Goals, Confirms Guidance

The most heavily weighted stock among the 30 equities that comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Average is 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM). As of Monday’s close, 3M accounts for nearly 6.5% of the Dow, nearly double the expected 3.33% for each stock included in the average.

At an investors and analyst meeting Tuesday morning in St. Paul, Minn., 3M’s CEO Inge G. Thulin will outline the company’s plan through 2020. These include:

  • 8% to 11% earnings per share (EPS) growth
  • 2% to 5% organic growth measured in local currency
  • 20% return on invested capital
  • 100% free cash flow conversion

What 3M is saying is that investors can expect 2016 to be a lot like last year. In the 2015 fiscal year, EPS came in at $7.58 (or $7.72 excluding a restructuring charge) and organic growth in local currency totaled 1.3%. Free cash flow conversion totaled 103%, and the company’s return on invested capital totaled 22.5%. If anything, 3M is being careful to underpromise with the hope of overdelivering.

3M also reiterated its 2016 fiscal year guidance calling for EPS of $8.10 to $8.45 with organic growth based on local currency of 1% to 3%, and free cash flow conversion ranging from 95% to 105%. The current consensus estimates call for EPS of $8.22 and revenues of $30.26 billion for the 2016 fiscal year.

The company’s quarterly dividend of $1.11 per share was raised by about 8.3% for the company’s February payout. The company also boosted its stock buyback program to $10 billion with no expiration date, and it is one of our 18 companies that will buy back the most shares in 2016.

The current consensus price target of $159.81 at Yahoo Finance is about $7.50 below Monday’s closing price. The company’s forward price-to-earnings ratio is 18.64.

The company is one of the top 10 stocks by index weight included on the S&P Dividend Aristocrats and has increased its dividend every year for the past 57 years. It doesn’t have to be thrilling as well.

Shares closed at $166.28 on Monday, but dropped after Tuesday’s opening bell to $163.51, in a 52-week range of $134.00 to $167.70.