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3M Reports 22% Rise in Net Income

October 21, 2003|From Bloomberg News

3M Co., the maker of Scotch tape, medical inhalers and thousands of other products, said Monday that third-quarter earnings increased 22% and raised its 2003 profit forecast because of lower costs and higher sales.

Net income climbed to $663 million, or 83 cents a share, from $545 million, or 69 cents, a year earlier. Analysts on average expected earnings of 79 cents, according to Thomson First Call.

Sales rose 11% to a record $4.62 billion, the St. Paul, Minn.-based company said.

International sales surged 18% in the quarter, helped by currency gains and growth in Asia. 3M, which gets more than half its revenue from overseas, said sales rose in six of seven business units. Chief Executive James McNerney boosted volume as selling prices fell by introducing products and making acquisitions.

"Revenue growth was very, very impressive, even if some of it is currency," said Stephen Atkins of Northern Trust Value Investors.

Sales at 3M's business that makes displays for televisions, computers and mobile phones rose 35% to $772 million last quarter. Sales of health-care products such as medical tapes climbed 12% to $1 billion.

3M shares rose $1.43 to $75.48 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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