3M Co (MMM) Earnings Miss Wall Street Estimates, Shares Fall

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The stock price of 3M Co (NYSE:MMM) dropped by nearly 3 percent to $105 per share on Thursday around 11:20 in the morning in New York, after reporting an earnings that missed the consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts.

3M Co (MMM) Earnings Miss Wall Street Estimates, Shares Fall

3M Co (NYSE:MMM) posted first quarter earnings of $1.61 per share, 1.3 percent higher than its earnings of 1.59 per share in the same period a year ago. Its revenue increased by 2 percent to $7.6 billion from $7.49 billion last year. However, company financial performance fell short of the expectations of analysts at $1.65 earnings per share and $7.81 billion revenue based on data compiled by Thomson Reuters.

According to the company, its first quarter operating income was $1.6 billion and its operating margin was 21.6 billion. 3M Co (NYSE:MMM) said its net income was $1.1 billion and ended the quarter with $670 million free cash flow.

In a statement, Inge G. Thulin, chairman, president and chief executive officer of 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) said, “We achieved record first-quarter sales and solid operating margins in the face of a low-growth economic environment and the strong U.S. dollar. At the same time, we further strengthened the company through increased investments in innovation, commercialization and manufacturing.”

According to 3M Co (NYSE:MMM), its local currency sales increased by 2.1 percent and acquisitions boosted its sales by 1.7 percent, but currency impacts lowered its sales by 1.8 percent. During the period, the company returned capital to shareholders by repurchasing shares worth $805 million and paid dividends worth $440 million.

3M Co (NYSE:MMM) reduced its earnings outlook for 2013 from its previous estimate in the range of $6.70 to $6.95 per share to around $6.60 to $6.85 per share due to the slowing demand for its electronics products. The company also expects foreign currency fluctuations will reduce its sales for the full year by 1.5 percent.

On the other hand, the company projected a 2 percent to 5 percent sales growth for its organic local-currency sales. During the company’s earnings conference call, Thulin said, “We expected a challenging start to the year, but in fact market conditions were tougher than we had expected.”

According to him, it is prudent for the company to adjust slightly its outlook for 2013, considering the weak demands in several end markets and the strength of the U.S. dollar. He said 3M Co (NYSE:MMM) is focused on factors within its control such as improving its business and productivity as well as advancing its strategic objectives.

Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) commented that the biggest contributor for the company’s shortfall were Industrial, Electronics and Energy segments. According to them, “3M is the only major company to have cut EPS guidance this earnings season, although we attribute it to the company’s conservatism as well as relatively bigger international exposure.”

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