3M Shares Dip as Caterpillar Shares Surge Up After Earnings

3M Company (NYSE:MMM) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Net income for the diversified machinery company rose to $954 million ($1.35 per share) vs. $928 million ($1.28 per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 2.8% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 5.7% to $7.09 billion from the year earlier quarter. MMM beat the mean analyst estimate of $1.31 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $7.09 billion.

“2011 was a successful year for 3M, with record sales and earnings per share,” said George W. Buckley, 3M chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We were resilient enough to achieve these results in the face of deteriorating demand in both Western Europe and consumer electronics. Our commitment to the future continued, with investments of $1.6 billion in research and development and $1.4 billion in capital expenditures during the year, aimed primarily at faster growing markets. Our 2011 results demonstrate the underlying strength of 3M’s business model, as we once again generated double-digit top-line growth and premium return on capital. My thanks to 3Mers everywhere for another outstanding year.”

Buckley continued, “Looking ahead, we believe that slower growth will persist into the first half of 2012, so we will increase attention to the bottom line in the near term. We know that in uncertain times, it is even more important that we innovate and differentiate ourselves, therefore we will preserve key investments in R&D, sales and manufacturing to achieve accelerated growth.”

3M affirmed its 2012 full-year performance expectations. The company expects earnings to be in the range of $6.25 to $6.50 per share with organic sales volume growth of two to five percent. Operating income margins are expected to be between 21 and 22.5 percent for the year.

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).

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter. Net income for the farm and construction machinery company rose to $1.55 billion ($2.32 per share) vs. $968 million ($1.47 per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 59.8% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue  Rose 34.6% to $17.24 billion from the year earlier quarter. CAT beat the mean analyst estimate of $1.73 per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $16.05 billion.

“Our strategy is squarely focused on customers, and in 2011 our employees, suppliers and dealers delivered. We improved product quality, invested significantly in manufacturing capacity and product development, and improved our market position. We completed two large acquisitions-Bucyrus and Motoren-Werke Mannheim Holding GmbH (MWM)-in important growth industries that are a great strategic fit and provide our customers an even broader range of products,” said Caterpillar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman.

Competitors to Watch: Deere & Company (NYSE:DE), General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), Astec Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTE), Columbus McKinnon Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCO), Manitowoc Company, Inc. (NYSE:MTW), Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI), CNH Global N.V. (NYSE:CNH), Navistar Intl. Corp. (NYSE:NAV), Terex Corporation (NYSE:TEX), and Lindsay Corporation (NYSE:LNN).

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com