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 revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in net income, growth in earnings per share and solid stock price performance. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • MMM's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.33, 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 1.39, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Industrial Conglomerates industry average. The net income increased by 3.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $954.00 million to $991.00 million.
  • 3M CO's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. 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 $6.31 versus $5.96 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($6.85 versus $6.31).
  • 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.

3M Company operates as a diversified technology company worldwide. 3M has a market cap of $68.96 billion and is part of the conglomerates sector and conglomerates industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.2% 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.

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