• 3M (MMM) - Get Report, the diversified manufacturing company, reported a fourth-quarter profit of $954 million, or $1.35 a share.
  • Fourth-quarter sales were $7.1 billion, an increase of 5.7% from the previous year.
  • Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $1.31 a share on revenue of $7.09 billion.
  • In the year-earlier fourth quarter, 3M earned $928 million, or $1.28 a share.

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

3M's

(MMM) - Get Report

fourth-quarter sales increased 5.7% from last year to $7.1 billion with the biggest growth from the industrial and transportation division.

Sales in the industrial and transportation division increased 14.3% to $2.4 billion. The company's display and graphics business saw sales fall 8.8% to $823 million.

Latin America/Canada led the company's sales by region with a 9.7% increase. Sales in the U.S. gained 7.4%. Sales in the Asia/Pacific region rose 2.8%.

Fourth-quarter earnings rose to $1.35 a share from $1.31.

3M said 2011 full-year earnings were $5.96 a share, which beat analysts' estimates of $5.91. Full-year sales increased 11% to $29.6 billion.

3M affirmed its 2012 guidance with earnings per share projected to be between $6.25 and $6.50 and organic sales volume anticipated to rise between 2% and 5%.

"Looking ahead, we believe that slower growth will persist into the first half of 2012, so we will increase attention to the bottom line in the near term," CEO George Buckley said in a statement. "We know that in uncertain times, it is even more important that we innovate and differentiate ourselves, therefore we will preserve key investments in R&D, sales and manufacturing to achieve accelerated growth."

Shares of 3M rose 1.2% in premarket trading Thursday to $87.52.

TheStreet Ratings

gives 3M a B grade with a buy rating and

$99.10

price target.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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