3M's

(MMM) - Get Report

earnings rose 6% from last year, boosted by strong results in its industrial and electronics-related segments.

3M earned $761 million, or 99 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $720 million, or 91 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding an accounting charge, 3M earned $1.04 a share in the most recent quarter, beating the Thomson First Call consensus by a penny.

Sales rose 4.6% from last year to $5.33 billion, missing estimates for $5.40 billion, as compiled by Thomson First Call. By segment, local-currency sales rose 18.2% year over year in the company's industrial division; rose 10.9% in its electro/communications segment; rose 10.2% in displays and graphics; rose 9.7% in safety, security and protective services; rose 3.3% in transportation; rose 0.6% in consumer and office; and were unchanged in healthcare.

Looking ahead, 3M expects to earn $1.10 to $1.14 a share in the first quarter ending in March, including an expense of 2 cents a share for stock options. It pegged local-currency sales growth at 4% to 7% above the year-ago quarter. Analysts were forecasting earnings of $1.15 a share on sales of $5.63 billion.

For all of 2006, 3M expects to earn $4.45 to $4.60 share, including an expense of 16 cents a share for stock options. It pegged local-currency sales growth at 4% to 7%. Analysts were forecasting earnings of $4.72 a share on sales of $22.96 billion.

The stock closed at $75.70 Monday, roughly 16 times the Thomson First Call 2006 estimate.