3M (MMM) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

3M (NYSE:MMM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “3M's global footprint, diversified product portfolio and the ability to penetrate in different markets have been its forte. Portfolio management, investment in innovation and business transformation are the three key levers on which the company intends to focus. 3M also intends to continue investing in capital expenditures and R&D to support organic growth as it aims a prudent capital structure strategy and increased capital deployment. 3M has outperformed the industry in the past three months. However, high pension expenses continue to be a drag on the company’s bottom line. Adverse foreign currency translations are likely to affect the company’s ability to realize projected growth rates in its sales and earnings. Also, as exports are a significant part of the company’s operations and growth prospects, sustained strength in U.S. dollar will continue to negatively impact the company’s earnings in the short-term.”

MMM has been the subject of several other research reports. Argus reissued a “buy” rating on shares of 3M in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. Credit Suisse Group reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $237.00 price objective (up previously from $229.00) on shares of 3M in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Citigroup raised their price objective on shares of 3M from $250.00 to $262.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. ValuEngine lowered shares of 3M from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group raised shares of 3M from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $194.00 to $229.00 in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $235.01.

3M (NYSE:MMM) traded up $2.27 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $248.18. 2,013,400 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,080,569. The company has a current ratio of 2.07, a quick ratio of 1.47 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89. 3M has a twelve month low of $173.55 and a twelve month high of $249.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $146,940.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.70, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.48 and a beta of 1.10.

3M (NYSE:MMM) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 24th. The conglomerate reported $2.33 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.21 by $0.12. 3M had a net margin of 17.71% and a return on equity of 48.55%. The business had revenue of $8.17 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $7.93 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $2.15 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.0% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that 3M will post 9.1 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Chairman Inge G. Thulin sold 6,823 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $233.14, for a total value of $1,590,714.22. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 196,906 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $45,906,664.84. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CAO Ippocratis Vrohidis sold 1,725 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $230.34, for a total transaction of $397,336.50. Following the completion of the sale, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 898 shares in the company, valued at approximately $206,845.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 22,804 shares of company stock worth $5,303,706. 0.58% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MMM. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of 3M by 38.1% in the 2nd quarter. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC now owns 645 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $113,000 after acquiring an additional 178 shares during the period. CenturyLink Investment Management Co acquired a new position in shares of 3M in the 2nd quarter valued at $116,000. Concannon Wealth Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of 3M by 45.6% in the 3rd quarter. Concannon Wealth Management LLC now owns 655 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $116,000 after acquiring an additional 205 shares during the period. Cable Hill Partners LLC increased its holdings in shares of 3M by 2.4% in the 1st quarter. Cable Hill Partners LLC now owns 635 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $122,000 after acquiring an additional 15 shares during the period. Finally, Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. increased its holdings in shares of 3M by 7.5% in the 2nd quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. now owns 706 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $124,000 after acquiring an additional 49 shares during the period. 66.29% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About 3M

3M Company is a technology company. It operates through five segments. The Industrial segment serves a range of markets, such as automotive original equipment manufacturer and automotive aftermarket, , appliance, paper and printing, packaging, food and beverage, and construction. The Safety and Graphics segment serves a range of markets for the safety, security and productivity of people, facilities and systems.

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