3M (NYSE: MMM) today reported third-quarter earnings of $1.78 per share, an increase of 7.9 percent versus the third quarter of 2012. Sales grew 5.6 percent year-on-year to $7.9 billion. Organic local-currency sales grew 5.8 percent, acquisitions added 1.5 percent to sales and currency impacts reduced sales by 1.7 percent year-on-year. Operating income was $1.7 billion and operating income margins for the quarter were 22.0 percent. Third-quarter net income was $1.2 billion and free cash flow was $0.7 billion. The company paid $431 million in cash dividends to shareholders and repurchased $1.54 billion of its own shares during the quarter. Organic local-currency sales growth was 8.1 percent in Safety and Graphics, 6.8 percent in Health Care, 6.2 percent in Industrial, 4.2 percent in Consumer and 3.8 in Electronics and Energy. On a geographic basis, organic local-currency sales grew 10.5 percent in Latin America/Canada, 6.8 percent in Asia Pacific, 4.5 percent in the U.S. and 4.3 percent in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). “The 3M team delivered another strong performance in the third quarter,” said Inge G. Thulin, 3M’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “All business groups generated positive organic sales growth and operating margins above 20 percent. At the same time, we further strengthened the company through increased investments in innovation, commercialization and manufacturing. Finally, we returned $2 billion of cash to our shareholders during the quarter via dividends and gross share repurchases, or $4.8 billion through nine months of the year.” 3M updated its full-year performance expectations. The company anticipates 2013 earnings to be in the range of $6.65 to $6.75 per share versus a previous expectation of $6.60 to $6.85 per share. 3M expects full year organic local-currency sales growth of 3 to 4 percent versus a previous expectation of 2 to 5 percent. In addition, the company expects that free cash flow conversion will be approximately 90 percent.