3M Shares Slip Lower After May Sales Update Reveals COVID-19 Weakness

3M, which pulled its 2020 profit forecast in late April, said May sales were around 20% lower than last year's levels.
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3M Co.  (MMM) - Get Report said Monday that net sales for the month of May were nearly a fifth lower than last year, adding to questions over the pace of its second quarter recovery.

3M said May sales were pegged at $2.2 billion, down 20% from the same period last year, lead by steep declines in Europe and north America. Healthcare sales were off 11%, 3M said, while consumer sales fell 12% and safety and industrial sales slumped 17% from last year's levels. Transportation and electronics sales, 3m said, tumbled 30% from last year. 

3M shares were marked 1.5% lower in early Monday trading to change hands at $152.70 each, a move that extend the stock's year-to-date decline to around 14%.

Earlier this Spring, 3M pulled its full-year profit guidance and cut its capital expenditure plans amid the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, even as it posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings of $2.16 per share and revenues of $8.1 billion.

The group also said it will keep its cash dividend in place, but suspended its share buyback plans and scrapped its 2020 profit forecast. 

“Given the breadth and diversity of our businesses, the financial impact of COVID-19 is varying across 3M,” said CEO Mike Roman said on April 28. “In the first quarter we saw strong growth in personal safety, as well as in other areas of our portfolio experiencing high demand due to the pandemic."

3M is set to publish its second quarter earnings on July 28.