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3M Tops Earnings Forecast, Confirms 2021 Profit Guidance

Health care and personal safety sales boosted 3M's topline to nearly $9 billion over the first quarter, the company said Tuesday.

3M Co.  (MMM) - Get 3M Company Report posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings Tuesday, but repeated its full-year profit guidance and cautioned that input costs could continue to rise as a result of supply-chain disruptions linked to the global coronavirus pandemic.

3M said adjusted profits for the three months ending in March were pegged at $2.77 per share, up 28.2% from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of 2.29 per shares. Group revenues, 3M said, rose 9.6% to $8.9 billion, again topping analysts' forecasts of an $8.08 billion tally.

Sales in personal safety, which offers some products -- such as N25 masks -- used by companies to protect employees from the coronavirus -- rose 13.7% to $3.3 billion, 3M said. Healthcare sales rose 6.8% to $2.2 billion. 

Looking into the 2021 financial year, 3M said it sees earnings in the region of $9.20 to $9.70 per share and sale growth of between 5% and 8%. 

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"The first quarter was highlighted by broad-based organic growth, robust cash flow and a double-digit increase in earnings per share," said CEO Mike Roman. "Our four industry-leading businesses are delivering strong results, while we accelerate 3M's digital transformation and sustainability efforts with significant new goals to improve air and water quality."

"While uncertainty related to COVID-19 remains, we will stay focused on driving growth, building on favorable market trends, improving operational performance and delivering for customers and shareholders," he added.  

3M shares were marked 3.5% lower in late-morning trading following the earnings release to change hands at $192.56 each, a move that trims the stock's year-to-date gain to around 10%.