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3M Stock Gains After Q3 Earnings Beat, 2021 Sales Outlook Boost

3M lifted the lower-end of its 2021 sales outlook after stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings powered by a 7.2% jump in safety and industrial sales.

3M Co.  (MMM) - Get 3M Company Report posted better-than-expected third quarter earnings Tuesday, while improving portions of its 2021 sales outlook despite what it called "continued global challenges" and supply chain disruptions.

3M said adjusted profits for the three months ending in September were pegged at $2.45 per share, up 0.8% from the same period last year and well well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $2.20 per share. Group revenues, 3M said, rose 7.1% to $8.9billion, again topping analysts' forecasts of an $8.67 billion tally.

Sales in safety and industrials, which offers some products -- such as N25 masks used by companies to protect employees from the coronavirus -- rose 7.2% to $3.2 billion, 3M said. Healthcare sales rose 4.1% to $2.2 billion.

Looking into the 2021 financial year, 3M said it sees earnings in the region of $9.70 to $9.90 per share, a 20 cents per share decrease from the top end of its prior forecast, and sales growth of between 9% and 10%, a 2 percentage point boost from the lower end of its previous estimate. 

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"In the face of continued global challenges, the 3M team executed well and delivered broad-based organic growth, along with strong margins and cash flow," said CEO Mike Roman. "Overall, end-market demand remained strong, and we navigated supply chain disruptions by maintaining a relentless focus on serving and innovating for our customers."

"Moving ahead, we will continue to invest for the future by investing in strong demand areas aligned with global trends, while improving our operational performance, driving productivity and advancing sustainability," he added.  

3M shares were marked .0.4%  higher in early afternoon trading immediately following the earnings release to change hands at $183.10 each.

Earlier this month, 3M Monish Patolawala cautioned that input costs are rising at a faster-than-expected clip over the current quarter as supply chain disruptions and semiconductor shortages continue to pressure profit margins.

Patolawala added that the global semiconductor shortage, which has clipped production targets for carmakers such as Toyota and Volkswagen, will likely result in a bigger-than-expected decline in the group's auto division over the second half of the year.