3M Slashes 2012 Profit Outlook, Posts Disappointing Sales

By Industrials FOXBusiness

Hurt by a still-weak global economy and negative foreign exchange rates, 3M (MMM) missed sales expectations in the third quarter and narrowed its fiscal 2012 profit outlook on Friday.

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The St. Paul, Minn.-based maker of Post-Its and a wide-range of technologies used in by the healthcare, security and office sectors posted net income of $1.2 billion, or $1.65 a share, compared with a year-earlier $1.1 billion, or $1.52 a share.

All six of the company’s operating units posted 21% or more operating margins in the quarter and organic local-currency sales grew by 4.3% in health care and 3.3% in its industrial and transportation division.

“Regardless of economic conditions, we will remain focused on things within our control,” 3M CEO Inge Thulin said in a statement. 

Pressured by a strong dollar and slight slowdown in Asia, though, revenue for the three-month period fell slightly year-over-year to $7.5 billion, missing the Street’s view of $7.63 billion.

Shares of 3M fell more than 3% to $89.66 Friday morning.

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The company also slashed its full-year earnings outlook to $6.27 to $6.35 a share from a previous view of $6.35 to $6.50. The consensus is calling for $6.40.

3M warned that full-year organic local-currency sales are expected to grow in the 2% to 2.5% range, which would represent a 2.5% decrease from 2011.