What Makes 3M Special?
With shares of 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) trading at around $110.61, is MMM an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE or STAY AWAY? Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:
C = Catalyst for the Stock’s Movement
The question in the title can be answered in one word: innovation. 3M is one of the most innovative companies on the planet, and that has been the case for a long time. For example, when Neil Armstrong took that one small step for man, the rubber sole on his boot was made by 3M. Therefore, it can be said that 3M was the first company to walk on the moon.
Since that time, 3M has only increased its innovation. Most readers, if not all readers, will be familiar with at least one of their brands. These brands include Ace, Common, Filtrete, Futuro, Nexcare, Post-It, Scotch, Scotch-Brite, ScotchBlue, Scotchgard, and Tegaderm. 3M has also recently developed Scotch Recycled Corrugate Tape 3072, which is industrial tape that can be used for packaging corrugated boxes.
Sticking with the innovation theme, 3M has consistently delivered over the past several years. For instance, when the Chilean miners were trapped in 2010, a 3M mobile projector was used to help. Another example of impressive innovation by 3M allows an astronaut’s heartbeat to be heard from earth. Also thanks to 3M, someone can receive a medical diagnosis from anywhere (opposed to a doctor’s office) with a Littmann Stethoscope.
The ultimate point here is that consistent innovation means there will always be potential for growth. As an investor, that should be comforting. Yes, the stock was hit during the financial crisis, but it wasn’t hit as hard as most stocks throughout the broader market. And it turned out to be a phenomenal buying opportunity. In other words, any significant drops in the stock price might present an opportunity to add to a position. And let’s not forget the 2.30 percent yield. Not a bad bonus.
In regards to company culture, 71 percent of employees would recommend the company to a friend, and 94 percent of employees approve of CEO Inge G. Thulin. These are impressive numbers.
|Operating Cash Flow||5.47B||29.48B||14.88B|
Let’s take a look at some more important numbers prior to forming an opinion on this stock.
T = Technicals Are Strong
3M has been a steady performer for decades.
|1 Month||Year-To-Date||1 Year||3 Year|
At $110.61, 3M is trading above its averages.
E = Equity to Debt Ratio Is Strong
The debt-to-equity ratio for 3M is stronger than the industry average of 1.10.
E = Earnings Have Been Steady
It might sound repetitive, but steady is the name of the game for 3M. Savvy investors would want nothing else. You might not make 100 percent in six months like some popular growth stocks, but you don’t have to worry about a severe gap down overnight, either.
|Revenue ($) in millions||25,269||23,123||26,662||29,611||29,904|
|Diluted EPS ($)||4.89||4.52||5.63||5.96||6.32|
Looking at the last quarter on a year-over-year basis, revenue and earnings have improved. Revenue and earnings also improved on a sequential basis.
|Quarter||Mar. 31, 2012||Jun. 30, 2012||Sep. 30, 2012||Dec. 31, 2012||Mar. 31, 2013|
|Revenue ($) in millions||7,486||7,534||7,497||7,387||7,634|
|Diluted EPS ($)||1.59||1.66||1.65||1.41||1.61|
Now let’s take a look at the next page for the Conclusion. Is this stock an OUTPERFORM, a WAIT AND SEE, or a STAY AWAY?
3M has strong margins, solid cash flow, quality debt management, a solid company culture, superb innovation, and it tends to focus on the bottom line. Investors looking for a steady, dividend-paying stock for the long haul should consider 3M.
As always, 3M is an OUTPERFORM.
Using a solid investing framework such as this can help improve your stock-picking skills. Don’t waste another minute — click here and get our CHEAT SHEET stock picks now.
All content posted should not be considered professional advice. Please do your own research and consult with a professional financial advisor before making any investment decisions. I don’t have any positions in this stock.