3M Fourth-Quarter Sales Increase 11 Percent and Earnings Increase 69 Percent
St. Paul, Minnesota-based 3M reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.30 per share on sales of $6.1 billion, with operating income margins of 21.9 percent. Sales and per-share earnings increased 11.1 percent and 69 percent year-on-year, respectively. Excluding special items in the fourth quarter of 2008, fourth-quarter 2009 per-share earnings rose 34 percent. Profits grew at double-digit rates in each of the company’s six business segments and in all geographic regions. Free cash flow for the fourth quarter grew by 16 percent to $770 million.
The company posted full-year 2009 sales of $23.1 billion and earnings per share of $4.52, down 8.5 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively. Excluding special items, 2009 earnings declined 9.3 percent to $4.69 per share.
“By any measure, 2009 was a highly successful year for 3M and I could not be more proud of the 3M team for their undaunted effort in a challenging year,” said George W. Buckley, 3M chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We delivered tremendous results while continuing to invest significantly in our future with R&D investments of $1.3 billion and capital investments topping $900 million. And we posted a 21.7 percent operating margin for the year, equal to 2008 levels, which is a tremendous achievement in the midst of the worst recession since early last century.”
Buckley continued, “Importantly, our company got stronger and our results improved as the year went on, culminating with an outstanding fourth quarter. Sales in the quarter rose over 11 percent to $6.1 billion as all six business segments and all geographic regions expanded their sales year-on-year. These sales helped drive a 38 percent increase in operating profit, with all segments and geographies posting double-digit growth. Our strong fourth quarter gives me great confidence for continued success in 2010 and beyond.”
3M increased its 2010 GAAP per-share earnings expectations to a range of $4.90 to $5.10 versus a prior expected range of $4.85 to $5.00. The company expects organic sales volumes to grow 5 to 7 percent and currency effects to add 1 to 2 percent to sales for the year.