3M Soars Following Solid Earnings Beat

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3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) reported third-quarter 2017 results before markets opened Tuesday morning. The industrial giant posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $2.33 on revenues of $8.17 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported adjusted EPS of $2.15 on revenues of $7.71 billion. Third-quarter results also compare to consensus estimates for $2.21 in EPS and $7.93 billion in revenues.

Operating income totaled $2 billion and operating income margin rose 0.3% year over year to 25%. Net income rose 7.5% to $1.4 billion.

The company paid $701 million in cash dividends in the quarter and repurchased $380 million of its own shares.

CEO Inge Thulin said:

Coming off a strong first half, our team delivered an even more robust performance in the third quarter – marked by an eight percent increase in earnings per share, and seven percent organic growth that was positive across all business groups and geographic areas. We also expanded margins to 25 percent, while investing for the future and returning significant cash to our shareholders.

Sales rose in each of the company’s reporting segments, with the electronics and energy segment posting a sales gain of 13.1% and an operating income gain of 29.9% year over year. Sales in the largest segment, industrial, rose 6.2% to $2.8 billion and operating income in the segment rose 3.1% to $614 million.

The company raised its full-year guidance for sales growth from a prior range of 3% to 5% to a new range of 4% to 5% and its EPS forecast from a prior range of $8.80 to $9.05 to a new range of $9.00 to $9.10.

3M’s shares rose more than 5% in early trading to $232.90, above the previous 52-week range of $163.85 to $222.78. The 12-month consensus analyst price target was $211.23 ahead of this morning’s report.