Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing

(MMM) - Get Report

, better known as 3M, easily topped Wall Street's earnings expectations on the strength of productivity gains and a strong product flow.

The St. Paul, Minn.-based industrial giant, which counts Post-It notes and Scotch tape among its many consumer products, logged fourth-quarter earnings of $1.10 per share, or $444 million, up 27.9% over year-ago figures. Analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

had expected $1.02 per share.

3M, which closed at 91 Tuesday, was trading at 94 in pre-market trading Wednesday.

For the quarter, 3M posted sales of $4.023 billion, a year-over-year increase of 6.3%.

"Our volume growth increased during each quarter of 1999, and we enter 2000 with good momentum," said L. D. DeSimone, chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement. "We're growing through a strong flow of innovative new products, increasing participation in the most dynamic segments of the global economy, and excellent customer relationships.''