3M Once More Dow’s Poorest Performing Stock

August 11, 2018 by Paul Ausick

Industrial giant 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) had a poor week despite generating no significant news. Shares lost 2.57% last week to drop the conglomerate into position as the worst performing Dow Jones industrial average stock in 2018. 3M escaped the cellar in late July, but only temporarily it seems. 3M’s stock has declined 14.2% for the year to date.

The second-worst Dow stock so far this year is Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), which is down 13.8%. That is followed by Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG), down 11.4%, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), down 9.9%, and Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT), down 8.7%. Of the 30 Dow stocks, 14 are showing a loss to date in 2018.

The blue-chip index dropped nearly 150 points last week to close at 25,313.14, down about 0.6% compared to the previous Friday’s close. The Dow closed up less than 1% for the second quarter but down 1.8% for the first six months of 2018. For the year to date, the index is up 2.0%, trailing both the S&P 500 (up 5.1%) and the Nasdaq Composite (up 11.9%).

Until Thursday morning, 3M and DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP), another of the Dow 30, traded along the same path, within half a point above or below the break-even line. Then DowDuPont turned north and 3M turned south.

The bump for DowDuPont was likely the result of a $2 million open-market share purchase by CEO Ed Breen. The bump lasted for about a day, until a federal court ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency within 60 days to ban the use of chlorpyrifos, an insecticide that was on its way to being banned before DowDuPont, the largest manufacturer of the stuff, convinced the former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt to reverse the ban.

3M doesn’t make chlorpyrifos-based products, but the court ruling sent industrial stocks reeling. For the year to date, industrial conglomerate stocks, including the likes of 3M, General Electric and Honeywell, have lost more than 13%.

3M stock closed at $201.96 on Friday, down about 1.4% for the day, in a 52-week trading range of $190.57 to $259.77. The 12-month consensus price target on the stock is $209.85, and the forward price-to-earnings ratio is 17.97.

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