3M Company Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, January 26, 2012. 3M is a global manufacturer, technology innovator, and marketer of a variety of products.

3M Company Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet.

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of $1.31 per share, a rise of 3.1% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.47. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from $1.32 during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 3.1% versus last year to $5.93.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company fell short of estimates by 0 cents, coming in at profit of $1.52 per share against a mean estimate of net income of $1.61. The company fell in line with expectations in the second quarter.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $7.09 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 5.7% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $29.59 billion for the year, a rise of 11% from last year’s revenue of $26.66 billion.

Analyst Ratings: eight out of 14 analysts surveyed (57.1%) have a buy rating on 3M Company.. This is below the mean analyst rating of nine competitors, which average 70% buy ratings.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 1.6% to $1.09 billion ($1.52 a share) from $1.11 billion ($1.53 a share) the year earlier, missing analyst expectations. Revenue rose 9.6% to $7.53 billion from $6.87 billion.

Key Stats:

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 14.1% in the second quarter from the year earlier, climbed 15.2% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter and 9.6% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

The decrease in profit in the third quarter broke a streak of two consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit increases. Net income rose 3.5% in the second quarter and 16.2% in the first quarter.

Competitors to Watch: General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), DENTSPLY Intl. Inc. (NASDAQ:XRAY), Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE:TYC), Carlisle Companies, Inc. (NYSE:CSL), Honeywell Intl. Inc. (NYSE:HON), Siemens AG (NYSE:SI), and E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. (NYSE:DD).

Stock Price Performance: During November 21, 2011 to January 20, 2012, the stock price had risen $7.81 (10%) from $77.84 to $85.65. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between April 18, 2011 and April 28, 2011 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 6.3% (+$5.67) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 21, 2011 and August 2, 2011 when shares fell for nine-straight days, falling 11% (-$10.43) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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