3M shares rise on upbeat forecast, earnings boost

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Maplewood-based 3M Co. boosted its full-year adjusted profit and cash flow targets as it reported third-quarter results that easily topped Wall Street estimates, lifted by sweeping cost cuts and efforts to combat an ongoing sales slump.

Adjusted earnings in 2023 will be $8.95 to $9.15 per share, 3M said in a statement Tuesday. That compares with its earlier forecast of $8.60 to $9.10, and an average of $8.88 based on analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The company, which makes ubiquitous consumer products such as Scotch tape and Post-it Notes, as well as myriad industrial products, also expects its adjusted operating cash flow will be from $6.5 billion to $6.9 billion, up from a range of $5.9 billion to $6.3 billion.

“We are building momentum through strong operational execution,” 3M Chief Executive Officer Mike Roman said in a statement. The results “position us for a solid close to 2023.”

3M shares rose 4.5% to $90.12 in trading Tuesday.

The higher targets reflect deep cost cuts, thousands of layoffs and other actions taken by Roman to streamline the complex company amid a lengthy sales slump.

3M reported a third-quarter adjusted profit of $2.68 per share, blowing past the $2.34 estimated by Wall Street. The company attributed its improved bottom line to operational improvements at its factories, restructuring actions gaining traction and spending controls.

Sales of $8.02 billion were at the high end of 3M’s third-quarter forecast and slightly above the average analysts estimate. Full-year sales will be down about 3% on an organic basis, a change from 3M’s previous forecast of a 3% decline to no better than flat, the company said.

Shares of the manufacturing giant had declined 29% this year through Monday’s close on meager sales growth, uneven earnings and billions of dollars in legal settlements to resolve environmental and product liability claims.

The company took a major step toward resolving its legal entanglements in August when it by agreed to pay $6 billion to resolve hundreds of thousands of lawsuits alleging it supplied defective earplugs to US combat troops.

The company took a $4.2 billion pretax charge in the third quarter because of the agreement, which was adjusted out of its reported results.

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