3M Sees 2015 Sales Rising 3% to 6%, Raises Dividend

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3M Co, a maker of adhesives, abrasives and other products for a variety of industries, said it expected organic sales to rise 3-6 percent in 2015, excluding the effect of foreign exchange rates.

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The company, whose products include Post-it notes and film for flat-panel televisions, also raised its dividend for the first quarter by 17 cents to $1.025 per share.

3M said international sales are expected to rise 6 percent organically over three years. The company derives more than 60 percent of sales from outside the United States.

Greater China area, which represents about 20 percent of international sales, continues to represent the biggest growth opportunity for 3M in the next three years, the company said.

It said it expects to end 2014 with sales of $4 billion in Greater China and forecast sales of $5-$5.5 billion in the region by 2017.

3M forecast gross share repurchases of $3 billion-$5 billion in 2015.

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The company raised the lower end of its share repurchase plan by $3 billion to $20 billion-$22 billion for 2013-2017, Chief Financial Officer Nick Gangestad said in a presentation.

The company bought shares worth $5.2 billion in 2013, and expects to end 2014 with purchases of $5.5 billion-$6 billion in 2014.

The company forecast 2015 earnings of $8.00-$8.30 per share.

Analysts on average were expecting $8.20 per share on revenue of $33.12 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company's shares closed at $156.85 on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. They have risen about 12 percent this year, compared with a 4 percent fall in the Dow Jones Global Industrials Index. (Reporting by Ankit Ajmera and Rohit T. K. in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Don Sebastian)