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3M Profit Dips but Lifts Forecast for 2011

Tuesday, 25 Jan 2011 09:06 AM

3M Co. on Tuesday raised its profit expectations for the new year, saying research and investments in new products are paying off.

3M said net income dipped slightly in the last quarter of 2010 because of higher costs. But revenue increased 10 percent on broad-based improvements in products used in electronics, cars and planes.

The Maplewood, Minn., company earned $928 million, or $1.28 per share, in the fourth quarter compared with $935 million, or $1.35 per share, a year ago.

Revenue rose to $6.71 billion from $6.12 billion. Business improved in all six of the company's segments.

3M's Electro and Communications unit, which makes everything from police tape to static control products, grew sales by 20 percent. Sales in its biggest segment, industrial and transportation, rose 10 percent. That division sells over 1,000 products for cars including abrasives and paint finishings, and adhesives for aircraft.

3M said broad-based sales increases offset moderating sales from its optical films for LCD TVs and H1N1-related products, like respirators.

The results topped the expectations of analysts polled by FactSet Research, who on average forecast a profit $1.27 per share on revenue of $6.59 billion. But shares fell 1.6 percent in premarket trading. To $88.90.

For 2011, the maker of Post-Its and Scotch Tape expects to earn $5.95 to $6.20 per share, up from a previous forecast of $5.90 to $6.10 per share. 3M expects double-digit sales growth this year.

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