3M Earnings Top Estimates, Investors Not Impressed

3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) reported its first-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Tuesday. The company said it had $2.05 in earnings per share (EPS) on $7.4 billion in revenue, versus Thomson Reuters consensus estimates calling for $1.92 in EPS on $7.33 billion in revenue. The same period from last year had $1.85 in EPS on $7.58 billion in revenue.

Looking at the business segments, organic local-currency sales growth was 6.2% in Health Care, 2.8% in Consumer and 2.4% in Safety and Graphics, with declines of 1.9% in Industrial and 11.7% in Electronics and Energy.

On a geographic basis, organic local-currency sales growth was 4.2% in Latin America/Canada, 1.7% in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and 0.3% in the United States, with a decline of 5.6% in Asia Pacific.

In terms of guidance for the full year, 3M maintained its EPS forecast of $8.10 to $8.45, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.24 in EPS.

On the books, cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities totaled $1.51 billion at the end of the quarter, compared to $1.92 billion a year ago.

Inge G. Thulin, 3M’s chairman, president and CEO, commented:

Our team continued to execute the 3M playbook and delivered another solid operational performance in the first quarter. We expanded 3M’s profitability, improved our cash flow generation, and increased margins over a full percentage point. At the same time, we continued to invest in the business – including opening a new, world-class laboratory in the United States – while returning cash to our shareholders.

Shares of 3M traded down 1.4% to $166.02 on Tuesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $167.56 and a 52-week trading range of $134.00 to $170.77.

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