3M recently reported third quarter 2016 earnings of $2.15 per share, an increase of 4.9% vs. the third quarter of 2015. Sales were $7.7 billion, flat year-on-year in dollar terms. Organic local-currency sales decreased 0.8%, while acquisitions (net of divestitures) added 0.3% to sales. Foreign currency translation increased sales by 0.5% over the 2015 third quarter. 

Operating income was $1.9 billio,n and operating income margins for the quarter were 24.7%, up 0.4 percentage points over the prior year’s third quarter. Third quarter 2016 net income was $1.3 billion. The company’s operating cash flow was $1.9 billion, contributing to conversion of 117% of net income to free cash flow. 3M paid $670 million in cash dividends to shareholders and repurchased $774 million of its own shares during the quarter.

Organic local-currency sales growth was 2.9% in Consumer, 2% in Safety and Graphics, and 1.5% in Health Care, with declines of 1.1% in Industrial and 8.1% in Electronics and Energy. On a geographic basis, organic local-currency sales growth was 1.2% in Latin America/Canada, with declines of 0.3% in the U.S., 1.0% in EMEA and 2.2% in Asia-Pacific. 

“Our third quarter was marked by increased earnings, robust cash flow and a strong, broad-based margin performance—with each of our business groups posting margins of 22% or greater,” said Inge G. Thulin, chairman, president and CEO. “At the same time, we continued to execute on Business Transformation while taking several actions to strengthen and focus our portfolio. We were also pleased to celebrate our company’s 100th consecutive year of paying dividends, which we’ve increased for each of the last 58 years.” 

3M updated its 2016 forecast for earnings per share to be in the range of $8.15-$8.20 vs. a prior range of $8.15-$8.30. The company now expects organic local-currency sales growth to be approximately flat vs. a previous range of 0-1%. 3M also updated its tax rate to be approximately 29% vs. a prior range of 29-29.5%. Lastly, the company continues to expect free cash flow conversion in the range of 95-105%.

For more information, visit www.3m.com.