, the manufacturing and technology giant known for Scotch tape and Post-it notes, reported a 27% increase in first-quarter earnings and expressed confidence it would surpass sales and earnings targets for 2000.
Including a one-time pretax benefit of $50 million for ending a distribution agreement in its health care segment, 3M's net income rose to $487 million or $1.21 a share, up from $384 million and 95 cents a share in the first quarter last year. Without the tax benefit, earnings per share were $1.13 for the quarter.
The St. Paul, Minn.-based company still exceeded analysts' expectations of $1.08, according to a survey conducted by
First Call/Thomson Financial
. 3M shares fell 7 3/8, or 8 % to 90. (3M closed down 3 9/16, or 4%, at 93 13/16.)
L.D. DeSimone, 3M chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement that successful marketing initiatives and good overall economic activity increased sales by 7.3% to $4.05 billion from $3.8 billion in the first quarter the year before.
The company reported strong sales in its industrial businesses, which include adhesives and abrasives, and transportation, graphics and safety, which makes reflective sheeting used on highway signs.
Notably though, revenues fell in three other business segments, including health care, consumer- and office products and electro- and communications products. Together, these products make up almost half of 3M's total revenue.
Throughout 2000, the company expects that unit sales will increase more than 10% and earnings per share will grow 12% to 14%.