3M Holds on as Dow's Poorest Performer

For a second consecutive week, 3M Company (NYSE: MMM) is once again the Dow’s cellar dweller. The industrial giant’s stock added more than 4% last week but even that was not enough to climb out of the basement. 3M shares are now trading down 8.1% for the year to date.

The second-worst Dow stock so far this year is The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), down 7.6%, followed by The Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG), down 6.6%; McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD), down 4%; and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), down 3.2%. There are only 10 of the 30 Dow stocks that trade lower for 2018.

The blue-chip index added 588.83 points last week to close at 26,743.50, up nearly 2.3% compared to the previous Friday’s close. For the third quarter to date, the Dow is up 10.6%, better than the S&P 500 (up 8%) and the Nasdaq Composite (up 6.5%). For the year to date, the index is up 7.7%, trailing both the S&P 500 (up 8.7%) and the Nasdaq Composite (up 14%).

3M didn’t generate any big news last week either, just as it had no big news the week before. If anything, the news from last week is the turnaround in the industrials sector. Caterpillar (up nearly 8% for the week) posted the week’s biggest gain with Boeing (up about 3.5%) and United Technologies (up more than 3%) also doing their share.

The industrial conglomerates, of which 3M is one, have been hardest hit by the trade battles, down about 10% for the year to date and more than 15% for the past 12 months. Even at that, the subsector’s forward price-earnings ratio is still a more than healthy 20.56 and it posted a gain of 2.1% last week, well-above the industrial sector’s overall gain of 1.8%.

3M is the second-largest holding in the Industrial Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEArca: XLI) at 5.29%. Boeing is the largest with a 7.93% share of the fund, but the fund’s increase for the year is 4.7%, well below the Dow index. Virtually all of last week’s increase in the fund came on Monday.

3M stock closed at $216.33 on Friday, up about 0.5% for the day in a 52-week range of $190.57 to $259.77. The 12-month consensus price target on the stock is $210.43 and the forward price-earnings ratio is 19.26.