Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of 3M (NYSE:MMM) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Wednesday, January 3rd.

According to Zacks, “3M's global footprint, diversified product portfolio and the ability to penetrate in different markets have been its forte. At the same time, the company is continuing with its portfolio restructuring efforts by divesting assets that no longer fit in its strategy and continues to make investments in other lucrative markets. Portfolio management, investment in innovation and business transformation are the three key levers on which 3M intends to focus. 3M has outperformed the industry in the past three months. However, given its international presence, adverse foreign currency translations are likely to affect 3M’s ability to realize projected growth rates in sales and earnings. 3M is also facing increased pension expenses as its workforce begins to retire. The related extra costs are a drag on the bottom line. Sustained dollar strength remains another headwind as exports consume a significant part of the company’s operations.”

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Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. Argus restated a buy rating on shares of 3M in a report on Friday, December 22nd. ValuEngine cut shares of 3M from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Goldman Sachs Group reiterated a sell rating on shares of 3M in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. Citigroup increased their price target on shares of 3M from $250.00 to $262.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, Jefferies Group upped their price objective on shares of 3M to $262.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $245.45.

Shares of 3M (NYSE:MMM) traded down $2.95 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $253.06. 589,855 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,206,999. 3M has a 52 week low of $173.55 and a 52 week high of $259.77. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.04, a quick ratio of 1.33 and a current ratio of 1.86. The stock has a market cap of $150,570.00, a P/E ratio of 31.88, a PEG ratio of 2.56 and a beta of 1.10.

3M (NYSE:MMM) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 25th. The conglomerate reported $2.10 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.03 by $0.07. 3M had a net margin of 15.35% and a return on equity of 48.34%. The company had revenue of $7.99 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $7.85 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.88 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 9.0% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that 3M will post 9.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 12th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 16th will be issued a dividend of $1.36 per share. This is an increase from 3M’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.01. This represents a $5.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.15%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 15th. 3M’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 59.27%.

In other 3M news, VP Khandpur K. Ashish sold 4,004 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $231.39, for a total transaction of $926,485.56. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 5,236 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,211,558.04. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.58% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. APG Asset Management N.V. boosted its position in shares of 3M by 128.1% in the fourth quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 1,427,350 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $279,776,000 after acquiring an additional 801,639 shares during the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors acquired a new stake in shares of 3M in the second quarter worth approximately $89,237,000. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its position in shares of 3M by 38.9% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 930,370 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $218,981,000 after acquiring an additional 260,349 shares during the last quarter. Coho Partners Ltd. boosted its position in shares of 3M by 26.8% in the second quarter. Coho Partners Ltd. now owns 687,532 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $143,137,000 after acquiring an additional 145,318 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of 3M by 4.7% in the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 3,171,136 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $746,391,000 after acquiring an additional 142,799 shares during the last quarter. 66.28% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About 3M

3M Company is a technology company. It operates through five segments. The Industrial segment serves a range of markets, such as automotive original equipment manufacturer and automotive aftermarket, , appliance, paper and printing, packaging, food and beverage, and construction. The Safety and Graphics segment serves a range of markets for the safety, security and productivity of people, facilities and systems.

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