3M Jumps as Push Into Technology Pays Off

By Austen HuffordFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

3M Co. shares are on track to close at a record Tuesday as the company said investments in higher-growth technology sectors are bringing results.

In the past three years, 3M has worked to rethink its electronics and energy division, accelerating spending into segments like semiconductors, data centers, automotive electrification and energy grids, Chief Executive Inge Thulin said on a call with analysts.

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Revenue in the electronics and energy segment rose 13% in the company's third quarter as overall revenue increased 6%.

The company also highlighted its car business, saying its traffic safety and automotive electrification units complemented each other, leading to higher sales, lower costs and increased foresight on future car trends. The company makes electric car displays, backup-camera monitors, reflective sheeting used on highway signs and speed cameras.

Mr. Thulin has also been working to increase the company's high-tech image even though it is best known for office products and cleaning supplies.

3M shares rose 7.7% to $238.55 in afternoon trading, on track to be stock's single-day percent gain since at least 2009.

3M also raised its annual financial targets as it posted a rise in third-quarter revenue and profit, driven by growth across its geographic and business segments. The company now expects annual earnings per share in the range of $9 to $9.10, up from prior guidance of $8.80 to $9.05. The company also raised the low-end of its organic sales guidance.

Over all, sales for the period climbed 6% to $8.17 billion, above the $7.93 billion expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Net income rose to $1.43 billion, or $2.33 per share, from $1.33 billion, or $2.15 a share.

Analysts had expected earnings per share of $2.21.

Write to Austen Hufford at austen.hufford@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 24, 2017 13:51 ET (17:51 GMT)