3M Co Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (MMM)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- 3M (NYSE: MMM) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of A- . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 3M CO has improved earnings per share by 8.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, 3M CO increased its bottom line by earning $5.96 versus $5.64 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($6.32 versus $5.96).
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.36, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.43, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for 3M CO is rather high; currently it is at 51.80%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 15.48% is above that of the industry average.
  • The stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • MMM, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 17.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.5%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

3M Company operates as a diversified technology company worldwide. 3M has a market cap of $65.51 billion and is part of the conglomerates sector and conglomerates industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full 3M Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Let Jim Cramer show you every trade he is making in his $2.5 Million portfolio. Join now for 14-days FREE. Sign up today to get e-mail alerts before every trade
null

If you liked this article you might like

Crazy Weak U.S. Dollar Will Make These 10 Companies Huge Winners

Dow, S&P 500 Set New Records as Fed Moves to Unwind Balance Sheet

Stocks In Negative Territory as Chances for December Hike Surge

The Wait for 'Milestone' Fed Meeting Keeps Stocks in Flux

Stock Futures Trade Flat as Balance Sheet Decision From Fed Is Awaited