3M Reports Solid August Sales As Healthcare Continues To Lead Q3 Rebound

3M said August health care sales rose 23% from last year's levels, helping an overall revenue rebound that looks to top analysts' third quarter forecasts for the Dow component.

3M Co.  (MMM) - Get Report shares edged higher Tuesday after it posted a solid August sales update that points to stronger-than-expected third quarter revenues for the industrial group.

3M said August sales rose 2% from last year to $2.7 billion, despite having one fewer trading days -- 21 - compared to the prior year. Health care sales surged 23%, 3M said, offsetting an 11% decline in transportation and electronics. Safety and industrial sales rose 6% while consumer sales were 3% higher.

"While significant global economic uncertainty remains due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company estimates, with one month left in the quarter, its sales to be in the range of $8.2 to $8.3 billion for the third-quarter," 3M said. "Given the current economic uncertainty, 3M will continue its monthly reporting of sales information through the end of the year to provide transparency on its ongoing business performance." 

3M shares, a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, were marked 0.2% higher in early trading following the sales update to change hands at $168.76 each, a move that extends their six-month gain to around 29%.

3M reported a 19% slump in second quarter profits as industrial sales slumped amid the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, trimming overall revenues to $7.2 billion, a 12% decline from the same period last year.

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.