3M Posts Record Sales in Fourth Quarter, Full Year
Fourth-quarter earnings for 3M, St. Paul, Minn., rose 11.7 percent to $1.81 a share over the same time last year. Year-on-year sales grew 2 percent to $7.7 billion.
Operating income was $1.7 billion with margins for the quarter at 21.5 percent. Net income was $1.2 billion, of which the company converted 144 percent to free cash flow. 3M also paid $544 million in cash dividends to shareholders and repurchased $1.3 billion of its own shares during the quarter.
For 2014 totals, earnings were $7.49 per share, an increase of 11.5 percent. Sales increased 3.1 percent to a record $31.8 billion with organic local-currency growth of 4.9 percent. Operating income margins were 22.4 percent, up less than 1 percent versus 2013. 3M converted 104 percent of net income to free cash flow and generated 22 percent return on invested capital. 3M paid $2.2 billion in cash dividends to shareholders and repurchased $5.7 billion of its own shares.
“3M delivered strong results in the fourth quarter, which culminated a solid 2014 performance,” said Inge G. Thulin, 3M’s chairman, president and CEO. “Organic growth was positive across all business groups and geographic areas, and operating margins rose by nearly a full point. We once again generated substantial free cash flow, which allowed for continued investment in our businesses and significant return of cash to our shareholders.”
3M affirmed its 2015 full-year performance expectations and expects 2015 earnings to be in the range of $8 to $8.30 per share with organic local-currency sales growth of 3 to 6 percent. 3M also expects free cash flow conversion to be in the range of 90 to 100 percent.
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