What's most reassuring about 3M is its rock-solid dividend, which it has raised for nearly six decades. Yielding 2.5%, 3M is way ahead of its peer group's average yield of 1.8%, and stronger than conglomerates like United Technologies , Danaher (DHR) - Get Report and PPG Industries (PPG) - Get Report .
3M's share price appreciation is just as dependable as its dividend. In the past five years, shares have more than doubled in value, beating rivals' share price growth like GE (59%) and Siemens (33.3%).
The stock closed up 15 cents Tuesday, at $189.06.
It ended 2016 with some hefty numbers: $30 billion in revenue, gross margin of 50% and net income of more than $5 billion. Over the next five years, analysts expect 3M to deliver nearly 9% earnings growth annually. These are fantastic growth figures for an enterprise that's more than 110 years old and has 90,000 employees.
What's unique about 3M is the high share of consumables in its product portfolio. Industry peers, including General Electric (GE) - Get Report , Siemens (SIEGY) , ABB Ltd (ABB) - Get Report , Honeywell (HON) - Get Report and Atlas Copco (ATLCY) , typically deal in higher cost durable industrial goods.
Since its inception as a mining company in the 1900s, 3M has consistently diversified, built up its capabilities and pushed through boundaries. The company earned its 100,000th patent in 2014 and now supplies nearly every global industry. 3M invests around 5.8% of its sales in research and development, strengthening its future roadmap.
For 2017, 3M is expected to bring in earnings in the range of $8.45 to $8.80 per share vs. $8.16 in 2016, with organic sales growth of 1% to 3%. These numbers are in-line with industry peers like Illinois Tool Works (ITW) - Get Report , which is projected to bring in earnings per share of $6.00 to $6.20.
There are only a few companies that can offer the kind of growth and income that 3M does. At its scale and size, 3M is an income buy that cannot be ignored.
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The author is an independent contributor who at the time of publication owned none of the stocks mentioned.