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3M Reports Solid July Update As Healthcare Sales Lead Q3 Comeback

3M said July health care sales rose 29% from last year's levels, suggesting a solid start to the third quarter for the Dow component.

3M Co.  (MMM) - Get 3M Company Report shares bumped higher Thursday after the industrial group said July sales were notably higher when compared to last year, suggesting a solid start to the third quarter for the Dow component.

3M said July sales rose 6% from the same period in 2019, coming in at a stronger-than-expected $2.8 billion. North American sales, 3M said, rose 10%, while European sales were up 3%. Health Care revenues lead the gains, 3M said, rising 29%, while consumer and safety and industrial sales rose 9% and 6% respectively.

3M shares, a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, were marked 1.7% higher in pre-market trading following the sales update to indicate an opening bell price of $167.00 each.

Late last month, 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.

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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. 

“While our results were significantly impacted by the global economic slowdown, we executed well, managed our costs and delivered another quarter of robust cash flow,” said CEO Mike Roman on July 28. “We are taking actions to navigate near-term challenges, while relentlessly innovating for our customers and investing for the future to lead out of the slowdown and continue to deliver long-term value for our shareholders.